Decembar 2021

60 | Beograd » Belgrade R I TAM GRADA / RHYTHM OF CI TY RETURN OF THE MAYOR TO THE C I T Y Branko Pešić, the manwhomade Belgrade bigger andmore beautiful When a man loves and builds a city, the city returns to him that love even when he’s been long gone. Belgrade doesn’t forget its most beloved mayor, because Branko Pešić’s rich human and creative heritage still lives on its streets As the most beloved mayor, who served as president of the Belgrade City Assembly in theperiod from1964to1974, BrankoPešić became legendary while he was still alive. Not onlybecausehewas a great builder and visionary who created the greatest symbols of the capital, which was then the capital of Yugoslavia, but also because he was a much-loved Belgrader, more popular among the people than even Josip Broz Tito himself. A reminder of all of that is provided by the filmGradonačelnik [Mayor], about the character and work of Branko Pešić (1922 - 1984), with a screenplay signed by Duška Jovanić (directed by Vuk Dapčević), who uses this opportunity to tell us the story of, as she puts it, the nostalgic hero of her childhood. “Speakingwithhis formercomrades-in-arms,hisclosest associates, post-war comrades, pals fromhis summer holidays in Slankamen, his daughter and son, I realised that he was the king of his work and life. People experienced him like Robin Hood and Superman, they saw him as both a boss and a sheriff, as someone who was both a relative and God’s help, and mostly a next-door neighbour who they could call on in the middle of the night, knocking on the door of his family house in Zemun,” saysDuška, whose story of Belgrade’smost beloved mayor ever continues in the following text… On legacy Duringhisnine-year termof office (1965-1974), the CityconstructedGazelaBridge, theBeograđankabuilding, Pionir Hall, Pinky Hall and Hotel Yugoslavia, while the building of theMuseumof Contemporary Art was completed, Terazije Tunnel was dug and the famousMostar Intersection was built, the ‘25th May’ and ‘Olimp’ swimmingpoolsopenedandAdaCiganlijabecamea landscaped bathing area. While he was at the helm of Belgrade, life began for the BITEF, FEST and BEMUS festivals, while the idea of the Alley of Distinguished Citizens was real-