17 August 2020 | ofumalow
High altitude at Balkan sea level
This energetic absurdist miniature mixes political allegory, counterculturedom, spy melodrama, street theater (albeit on the beach), even bursting into song and an avant-garde dance interlude. Hippies on an island agitate for its independence as a revolutionary state as a journalist and his girlfriend are visiting to cover a political summit; sympathetic towards the rebels, the protagonists get targeted by the heavy-handed forces of conformity.
It's hard to imagine this movie getting made anywhere but Yugoslavia so soon after the events of 1968, even though the subversive content here isn't much more specific a critique than, say, "Duck Soup." (Which nonetheless got famously banned by Mussolini.)
The film's more outre stylistic and plot elements seem a bit constricted by its B&W photography, which cry for garish (even psychedelic) color. You might consider its political satire as being in the same general arena as "The President's Analyst" (which definitely made good use of color photography), and it has the same kind of parodic yet deadpan attitude towards hippies, "the establishment," and the genre (espionage, romance, etc.) conventions it uses none-too-earnestly. It's a movie that doesn't quite blast off into greatness, but it has a lot of esprit, and a real commitment to its particular set of idiosyncrasies.