Decembar 2021

Belgrade » Beograd | 61 ised at the New Cemetery. Belgrade grew from 680,000 residents to 920,000, withmore than86,000 apartments built.That would already have been enough to place one large full-stop behind the words of the mayor. Perhaps the best testimony towhat hewanted from and for Belgrade are provided by the witty words of poet Duško Radović, which came as an anthological dedication to Branko for his 50th birthday. "He raidedbanks, broke intoworking organisations, stamped his feet in front of the SIV [Federal Executive Council building], pick-pocketed around the GSP [City Transport Company], falsely presented himself, forged documents, pushed counterfeit banknotes, sold horn candlesticks, cheated at cards, bribed. All just for our Belgrade to be bigger and more beautiful. Thank him!” On Zemun He loved his Zemun, as someone born and raised in Srem. But he was proud to be at the helm of Belgrade, the capital of Yugoslavia, and he respected the city to such an extent that he would tussle with anyone who would try to “harm” it. Onworking hours He worked day and night, with evening breaks for a good hand of the card game Russian Preference with his pals or to watch some righteous Western starring Gary Cooper or JohnWayne. He used his steely will to implement his ideas as actions – for him, achievement was a word that was implied and not just used. On Tito Branko Pešić nurtured a special kind of respect for Tito, primarily as a comrade-in-arms in theYugoslavPartisanmovement. In colloquial terms, hewaswonderfully capable of playing with Josip Broz. And that ensured that hehadgreat support fromTito ineverythinghedid, even when he was harshly attacked by his opponents. Broz once, slightly angrily, asked him: “For God’s sake, Branko, what do you want, some bonaca!?” Branko had an answer ready even then: “Comrade President, I don't know what that bonaca is. I'm not from the coast, I'm fromhere, fromtheDanube. And I swimmore along the Danube than down it.” On hismother Anka Every morning, in his old green Mercedes, Branko woulddrivehismother to theZemunmarket, where she kept a stall stocked with the most beautiful roses from their garden. He liked to sit in that garden, under a walnut tree, after eating Sunday lunch with spartan discipline. He is said to have been at his happiest during his summer holidays in Slankamen, where he slept in amilitary tent and ate beans from a tin can. On his family home He remained to his final days in the old, pre-war house of his parents, Anka and Mita Pešić, in Zemun’s Cara Dušana Street, which he considered the most natural thing in the world to do, even when – like so many of his fellow citizens who complained to him – the roof leaked. He knewwhere his place was. And he knew that this pre-war house was the biggest and most beautiful villa that he should have. The inimitable Branko Pešić. Onmusic bands He was a simple, witty, Zemun charmer, despite his occasional fights with general quarrellers and at famous drinking parties with musical “gangs”, when only glasses and bottles were shot, because nobody could do anything to his hard head. Bio je borac, vizionar i čovek pun ljubavi Skupština Grada Beograda je na inicijativu Gorana Vesića, zamenika gradonačelnika Beograda, finansirala film Gradonačelnik. – Za vreme stvaranja filma otkrio sam od sagovornika i saradnika za film, kao i iz obimne arhive, mnoge zanimljivosti o Branku Pešiću. Bio je inteligentan, srčan, neposredan, snalažljiv, nije otaljavao zadatke, odlučan, dostupan. Odudarao je od klišea rukovodilaca u socijalizmu. Nije bio bez mana, umeo je da bude i mangup. A uvek je bio mnogo ponosan što je gradonačelnik Beograda i mnogo ga je voleo. Biće mi drago da među gledaocima Gradonačelnika bude i mladih ljudi da bi iz filma videli kako za sve u životu postoji kontinuitet, kao i da je Branko Pešić napravio važne korake kao sinonim borca, vizionara i čoveka punog ljubavi za ljude i posao. HEWAS A BATTLER, A VISIONARY ANDAMAN FULL OF LOVE The Belgrade City Assembly financed the filmGradonačelnik [Mayor] at the initiative of Belgrade Deputy Mayor Goran Vesić. “During the time that the filmwas being made, I found out many interesting things about Branko Pešić from my interlocutors and associates on the film, as well as from the extensive archives. He was intelligent, intrepid, direct, resourceful, didn’t procrastinate on tasks and was determined and accessible. He turned away from the clichés of leaders in socialism. He wasn’t flawless and also knew how to be a rogue. And he was always very proud to be the mayor of Belgrade and loved the city very much. I will be glad that the audience for Gradonačelnik will include young people, for them to see from the film that continuity exists in everything in life, as well as that Branko Pešić took important steps as a synonym for a battler, a visionary and a man filled with love for people and work”.