40 | chines that the prisoners used for the purposesof thewar industry.Theyworkedfrom dawntodusk, until they’dspent their last atom of strength. When they were no longer able towork, theywerekilled. About 11million unrealised dreams and lives were lost. Following his liberation from the camp, my father and his friends returned to Belgrade, where they weren’t welcomed by anyone. Then,afewdayslater,OZNA[TheDepartment forPeople’sProtection]knockedonthedoor andtookhimtothepolicestation.Therethey asked him – how did you survive? And how did he survive? - His comrades - Ljuba, Bora and Barta – looked after one another. When someone fell ill, they protected and hid him so thathewouldn’tbe liquidated.Myfather followedhis artist’s instinct. He sketched.They smuggledinpapers, charcoal sticksandpencils. They kept guard. They had motivation to survive. They had something to ght for. They hid the drawings in a re extinguisher and buried it under the ground. Theywanted to keep evidence of the crime. That kept them alive. They also hid documentation about their murdered comrades, stolen archives that the Germans didn’t manage to destroy. When I started shooting the lm, my dad’s friend Ljuba Zečević said to me: I’veconstantlywonderedwhenyou’dcome. You’renot toolate.Unfortunately,hediedsix months later, but he is the heart and soul of the lm I made. Your father also experienced Banjica, but that story had a much happier end... - It couldbe said that thatwas a romantic melodrama in the hell of Banjica’s death camp. The Story of the meeting of the Illegal DanicaandMiloš. Hemet her at theprison hospital, where he’d been brought after being beaten half to death. Did Danica survive? - After the war, in his search for Danica, my father went through the lists of those who’dbeenkilledatBanjica.Whenyoureally want something, then life concocts ameeting.Yes, indeed.Thereisnobetterplaywright than life.Andfromthat time lifebeganmoving in amorebeautiful direction formy parents. Dad continued studying painting and becameaprofessor.Mumalsobecameaprofessor, but also the long-serving director of the First BelgradeGymnasiumHighSchool. MilošBajićwasYugoslavia’s rst abstractartist.Whatdidabstractpainting mean at that time? - Artwas dominatedat that timeby social realism.Thepolitical ideologypromoted collectivework, industrialisation... Itwasnecessaryforart toprovideastimulustotheconstructionof thecountrythathadbeendevastatedbywar. Butmy father quotedYesenin, saying:“I’ll givemysoul toOctober andMay, but I won’t give just my lyre”. Former camp inmate#106621wantedfreedomandpaintedhis rst abstract paintings. Hewas oneof the founders of the December Group, and created together with artists who changed the current of Yugoslav ne art in the second half of the twentieth century. Whatwasyour father like;howwould you describe him? - Everyone remembers him as being a very amiable man. His friend Zoran Petrović, a famous painter and writer, liked to recount an anecdote about my father: When I bought a newcoat, I was afraid to encounter him. Miloš had the habit of hugging you in a bear’s embrace and to tugging you by the lapels [laughs]. He was full of life, energy, thespiritof investigation...Hewouldsay: When I completeonepaintingcycle, I like to sail totheopenseasandstartall overagain. I couldcomparehimwithStanleyKubrick,who never made the same lm twice, but rather foundwaysof eeingfromthepreviousone. Wereyouclose; didyou trust oneanother?Didhe support you switching from journalism to lm direction? - He put a camera in my hands while I was still a child. He travelled constantly and carried lm and photo cameras. I shot my rst frame at the age of six - that shot of my father is included in the lm. We were very closerightuntil theend.Milošalwayssupported me. When I enrolled in Political Science, whenI failedtheentranceexamfor lmdirection studies, andwhen I became a director... You didn’t have any doubt that you wouldbecomeadirector,eventhough you were indecisive? - I askedmyDorćolpeoplewhether they remember when I decided to become a director and they responded – as of always. At that timewedidn’twatchTV,webrought records fromTriesteand listened toRadioLuxembourg. We sat on the fence bars in front of the building in Tadeuša Košćuška Street and talked. If someone had seen a new lm, they had to recount it for the entire group. But they had to make an e ort. We created andimaginedlifearoundusbycomplementing itwithwhatwedidn’t have. And thenwe had spirit, while today we have computers. Do you remember the rst lm that you recounted? - Yes. It was Hitchcock’s The Birds. I told them that after the screening my girlfriend was frightenedofeverypigeon.Wewerefree to search for what wewanted. And that was myfather’s idea, toremainfreeinseekingself. He also taught you to have a special relationship towards art? -Whilethepaintswerestill freshandthe smellofturpentinepermeated,wewouldsitin frontofhisnewlycreatedpicture.Hewarned me not to rush to draw conclusions, to imaginetogetherwiththepicture,butalsowith every book I read or lm I watched. To never condemn or pass judgement. Today, as a professor, I trytotransfer that tomystudents. Youwill bequeath thememoryofMiloš Bajić to the world... - Hewas agreat guy; I was lucky tohave himas my father. I wanted tomake the lm, to tell the story, but not – as his son – to be excessively personal. With the lm I tried to answer thequestion–hasevildisappear from this planet? BELDOCS: MORE THAN PREMIERES The premiere screening of Darko Bajić’s lm Lifeline at Kombank Hall on 8th May at 8pm will formally open the 12th BelDocs International Documentary Film Festival, which unfolds from 8th to 15th May at several cinemas across the city and will feature more than 100 premieres from around the world in 14 di erent categories. Alongside competitive programmes for domestic and international lm, the audience will be able to enjoy musical, biographical and artistic documentaries, a selection of contemporary Portuguese documentary lms, as well as retrospectives of the works of lmmakers Kazuo Hara and Goran Dević.