Ideology and values in Yugoslav war movies: sociological analysis of Veljko Bulajić’s The Battle of Neretva
The text gives a sociological analysis of film on the example of Veljko Bulajić’s The Battle of Neretva (1969) by analyzing state ideology and values advocated by this film, or rather, a Yugoslav partisan war spectacle of which this film is the most prominent representative. The idea that the ideology of a society works through film is in this case not understood only theoretically or in general sense, as an indirect relationship between the context and film production, but rather as a direct influence since we are talking about a historic film, or rather, a film that reconstructs historic events, i.e. represents a society in which the film was created in a planned and organized fashion by way of presenting its history and historic events. The Battle of Neretva can rightly be considered a striking example of a war spectacle practice in socialist Yugoslavia. The analysis of war spectacle is divided in two units: ideological apology of the socialist idea and representation (imposition) of the desired values system. In the first part it is examined how films created and staged basic ideological aspects of socialism in a specific manner. A so called ideological analysis is used with a goal of examining ways in which the text (in this case, film text) is coded. Both types of analysis are used – the denotative one, focused on the description of the things heard and seen, and the connotative one, focused on their interpretation. In addition, "non-film factors" of ideological and political nature that caused such a conception of images are examined as well. Furthermore, the function of war spectacles from a foreign policy perception is explored. In the second part the focus is on basic values systems and their reconstruction through film.