On Friday, March 1st, director Predrag Ličina and actress Hristina Popović talked with students of film academies in the EU Info Centre before the premiere of the film The Last Serb in Croatia. The interview was moderated by Dragan Jovićević. The participants were greeted by Mr Paul-Henri Presset, representative of the EU Delegation.
After the screening, which was held at 10 p.m. in the Kombank Hall, the cast and crew of the film bowed to the audience together with Severina, who plays an activist for human rights of zombies in the film.
‘When the film received money at the competition, there were reactions, but in the last two months since the campaign was launched, there were none. People who wanted to give a comment, watched the trailer and realized that they did not have anything,’ Ličina said and commented that the recent premieres in Zagreb and Rijeka had gone really well. The only thing he would change was to leave a little more space after certain lines because the audience had laughed so much it had missed to hear certain things.
The original idea for the film had come from thinking how in zombie films no one was ever trying to make a serum against the virus. Ličina had thought about who could be immune - people with B blood type, people with blue eyes, and then he had thought of national minority. ‘I eliminated Hungarians and Ruthenians; there are too few of them, so I took the largest minority, the Serbs, so that the possibility of recovery would be greater, which is deeply humane on my part’.
Producers had laughed at the idea of making the film about the coexistence of Serbs, Croats and zombies. But since Ličinin's previous short film, Teleport Zovko, a sci-fi comedy about the first Croatian teleport, had had great success, it had encouraged producer Ankica Jurić Tilić to make it.
‘The film is set in the near future, seven years since the bankruptcy of Croatia, which may be in 2026 at the earliest, because the country is really going bankrupt. To make the situation a bit more difficult, I also put zombies in the film. The main hero is abnormally rich and goes through a city where people are homeless and have nothing to eat, which is something we are heading to. In fifty years, we will live in feudalism’.
‘I made fun of everybody a little bit, but this is a satire so I do not think anyone should be angry. Still, I think that Slovenians should be the angriest. In fact, the Albanians were presented in the best light. Serbs and Croats were presented equally badly. A special characteristic of our country is that if the apocalypse came, people would come into conflict. We are really bizarre and absurd. If aliens would descend tomorrow, people in our country would accuse each other of bringing the aliens", Ličina said.