The Other Side of Everything

During the communist takeover of Yugoslavia, bourgeois living spaces were handed over to the proletariat, and the apartment in downtown Belgrade owned by Mila Turajlić’s family was divided in half to be shared with a poor family. For this fascinating documentary, Turajlić (Cinema Komunisto) records the process by which her mother reclaimed the other side of the unit and threw open doors that had been locked for 70 years. This milestone turns out to be mainly a framing device, but inside that frame lies a family portrait rich in political history: Turajlić’s great-grandfather, Dusan Peles, signed the Declaration of Unification that created Yugoslavia in 1918, and her mother, professor and activist Srbijanka Turajlić, helped lead the uprising that drove president Slobodan Milošević from power in October 2000. Located across the street from the British embassy, the apartment provides an ideal vantage point for street protests that roil the capital in the run-up to the 2017 presidential election and suggest that the civil tensions of the Balkan conflict still simmer. In Serbian with subtitles.