Filming Blockade: Bezinović’s Observational Activism
The article focuses on Blockade (Blokada), a feature film directed by the Croatian documentarian Igor Bezinović, who spent one month in the spring of 2009 observing student protesters at the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences in Zagreb. By employing long, wide and uninterrupted takes, the director manages to capture every detail of the thirty-five-day occupation – or as Bezinović calls it, the blockade – at the University of Zagreb; at the same time, his objective, seemingly unobtrusive aesthetic likens Blockade to the ideals of observational cinema: a documentary subgenre under heavy attack by film theorists since the early 1990s. But Bezinović is well aware of the shortcomings of observation, which is why his feature is occasionally supplemented by short montage sequences and heavily subjective framing adopted from the essay film tradition. It is precisely this amalgamation of observation and politically engaged activism that makes Bezinović, as the article concludes, stand out from the crowd.
The integral version of this article can be found in the printed KINO!