IVO ŠKRABALO (1934–2011)
The history of Croatian cinema as a romanced biography
The fact that it is considered natural that there are books in Croatia which tackle the entire history of Croatian cinema is mostly based on as many as three histories of Croatian film written by Ivo Škrabalo in the course of some twenty years starting with Između publike i države: povijest hrvatske kinematografije 1896-1980 (1984), which established itself as the key book of reference for the history of Croatian cinema. Secondly, a new and modernized edition of the book was published in 1998 under the title 101 godina filma u Hrvatskoj: 1986-1997, and thirdly, there is a short history, envisaged as a textbook and updated before its publication – Hrvatska filmska povijest ukratko (1896-2006) (2008). This text follows Škrabalo's film career, the history of his first book, and political debates which ensued after its publication. The author also analyses Škrabalo's peculiar historical and literary approach based on an insider's perspective, the perspective of a man who was active as a director, dramaturge and distributor, and who knew the circumstances first-hand and from his colleagues, but also based on his pioneer investigation of the denied history of Croatian cinema before the socialist film project after World War II. In addition to these books, Škrabalo published a book of film interpretative portraits of both distinguished authors and important but dismissed filmmakers – Twelve film portraits (2006).