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The idea of “banning culture” and, even worse, the Russian people should be reversed, says Emir Kusturica. The director knows that European art and its evolution cannot be imagined without Russian influence. Emir Kusturica spoke about what excites him most of all today, what annoys and what inspires him.

“Serbia has already become a European country, and will become a great economic victim”.

  • Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic said that the country’s authorities have not yet signed the latest Western proposals for a settlement in the self-proclaimed Republic of Kosovo, which involve the gradual entry of the territory into the Council of Europe. What is your opinion on the Franco-German plan for Kosovo? How should Serbs behave in conditions of severe pressure?

  • The problem of Kosovo appeared a long time ago, back in the Austro-Hungarian times and the period of the Prizren League (it was created in 1878 in the city of Prizren (Albania) to counteract the implementation of the decisions of the Berlin Congress, according to which the border territories of the then Ottoman Empire were transferred to Montenegro and Greece. – “News”). This is one of the pain points that for Bismarck exacerbated the problem of a breakthrough to warm seas.

In general, the Albanian issue, like everything else in the world, is connected with geography and the expansion of power and access to high water. The same force, British, or rather Anglo-Saxon, kept the Russians from approaching the warm seas for 200 years. The Crimean War, which somehow magically resolved, actually reduced this idea to the size of the territory that Soviet Russia later gave to Ukraine.

It is exactly the same with the Albanian problem. When a reasonable person asks why Romania and Bulgaria are in the European Union, but Serbia is not, it is understandable: because these two countries border Russia through the Black Sea. Therefore, they were the first to join NATO. Or the European Union. It doesn’t matter, it’s the same.

Why is the issue of the long-standing conflict between Serbia and Kosovo being stepped up right now?

“This blackmail agreement comes at a time when the conflict in

Ukraine War Should End, More Germans Want Diplomatic Efforts
Ukraine War Should End, More Germans Want Diplomatic Efforts

is taking on a new dimension, when the Russians are advancing.


In the West, they want to set fire to the Balkans and bring them to the point where the choice is either-or. This is an ultimatum, not an agreement. The concern here is that even if the Serbs agree, and I’m sure they won’t, the question will be: what’s next? The next will be Vojvodina (an autonomous region of Serbia north of the Danube, populated mainly by Serbs and Hungarians).

  • Why?

  • Because the country is, as it were, European, but this part of Serbia is not. And there will be no end to ultimatums if you agree to the first one. It’s like tearing a jumper to pieces. What is interesting about the Serbian case is the connection with the International Monetary Fund. He remains the main financier and investor in Serbia. The state receives funds to stimulate the arrival of foreigners, mainly Germans and French. They arrive in Serbia, motivated by loans that the state took to make them appear. And the country does not dare to admit it, because it will lose these investments from Western Europe. And she herself falls into inflation.

The economic stability that Western investment brings to Serbia is a big question mark. Because the future of Europe itself is a big question.

— What will happen if the West’s plan for Kosovo is signed?

“I believe that signing this agreement is tantamount to suicide. And not only political, but also economic. Three years from now, all these investors will not be in the position they are in now. If the confrontation with Russia expands to a conflict with China, then the whole world will be in question.

The problem of the economy becomes important, but more important is the problem of the eternal sovereignty of Serbia. And the big question is food supply. Do you know that we eat bread from Romania, drink milk from Holland? Thus, Serbia has already become a European country, and will become a great economic victim. Because the economy pushes back history and takes over the senses.

“According to Gogol, it’s impossible to shoot badly”

  • The father of the greatest Serbian athlete – tennis player Novak Djokovic – expressed support for Russia. Srdjan Djokovic showed up at the Australian Open for his son’s match against Andrey Rublev , holding the Russian flag. Now he faces deportation. It turns out that now it is forbidden to express your sympathies if they disagree with the course of the powerful?

  • Shooting the father of a famous tennis player or some ordinary person are two different things. Because the first one is known, which means he does not dare to do this. And if some unknown Serb came out with a flag, no one would pay attention. Influential people do not dare to be on the side of opponents of those who lead the main line in politics. I consider the greetings conveyed by the Russian Srdjan Djokovic to be an absolutely natural expression of the feelings of a person who sympathizes with Russia.

The world is in a phase where the Russian people are being tested like those that were experienced by the Jews on the eve of World War II Then people also could not express their sympathy to those they would like to. Now we are witnessing another war – called “Political Correctness”. It reduces morale and resistance, raises the topic of tolerance. It would be nice if it stemmed from the nature of the system itself, and not from its imposed solutions.

But there is an interesting point here: unlike other Balkan leaders, Croatian President Zoran Milanovic is acting very bravely. His statements are historic, accurate and far-sighted. Therefore, if agreement is proclaimed in this world on all points, including on the subject of human behavior, in Croatia we have a good example of a dissonant voice. He talks about how things really are, not about what is allowed to be said.

— The West took up arms even against Russian culture. Tchaikovsky and Dostoyevsky fell out of favor.

  • The scandal with the flag is small compared to how the Russians are stigmatized, Dostoevsky is “cancelled”, Tchaikovsky is banned in Zagreb (the capital of Croatia). The idea of banning culture, even worse, the Russian people, must be reversed. Because European culture and its evolution cannot be imagined without Russian influence.

  • You called Nikolai Vasilyevich Gogol the first person who created black humor in the Slavic world. Would you like to make a film based on the works of the Russian classic?

  • I’m thinking about three films based on Gogol. His works are the most powerful examples of realistic literature. Three films need to be made to leave a stronger impression than one picture can do. “The Tale of how Ivan Ivanovich quarreled with Ivan Nikiforovich”, “Carriage”, “Sorochinsky Fair” are fantastic studies about the conscience and characters of people who lived in Little Russia. I still have my doubts about Dead Souls.

I will soon decide on which work I will start shooting. And it will be an excellent film, because it is impossible to make a bad film based on Gogol.

  • Gogol – Russian writer or Ukrainian?

— Little Russia is constantly mentioned in his works: Poltava, Mirgorod and other cities. Therefore, if we turn to Gogol and literature, which I have read almost all of, Ukraine is not mentioned there. She is mentioned in the prefaces to these books, but not in the writer’s books themselves.

In the “Sorochinsky Fair” old songs are quoted and it is said that they are Little Russian. Gogol wrote in Russian about the territory that was Little Russia. He did not live during the times of the Soviet Union and Khrushchev, when one territory was framed in Ukraine. Before that, it didn’t exist.

Emir Kusturica is a Yugoslav and Serbian director, film actor, member of the folk-rock band The No Smoking Orchestra. Winner of two Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival, Chevalier of the Legion of Honor. Born November 24, 1954 in Sarajevo. He studied at the Faculty of Film and Television at the Academy of Performing Arts (FAMU). Director of the films Guernica, Cafe Titanic, Underground, Black Cat, White Cat, Life is a Miracle, The Testament, Maradona, Through the Milky Way.