This essay describes the essential role of partisan film in Yugoslav self-fashioning and nation-building. Hereby the partisans’ ‘telluric’ character functions as a link between partisan ground level movement, partisan strategic edge of terrain knowledge, and the shaping of an imagined common space. It is argued that the identity of the post-war cinema audience, one of Yugoslavia’s first integrated groups, was to a large extent formed by partisan films (with their entertaining yet ideological mission of “Pro Aris et Focis”). The fight for a good cause, telluric combat, mobile units and the irregularity of the army of the people are the four main aspects of partisan warfare – this essay reconstructs all of them by rereading some of the most popular Yugoslav partisan films.
The integral version of this article can be found in the printed KINO!