Short

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17 min.

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Total Eclipse

Potpuno pomračenje

The Total Solar Eclipse of 1999 was unusually received in Yugoslavia: emergency measures introduced to protect the population from the harmful effects of the Eclipse, led to a day-long total lockdown.

Nemanja was an 8 year-old on a school trip, when he had to spend an entire day locked up in a dark hotel, with nothing to do but watch Schwarzenegger's Commando on repeat. Milijana, a bank clerk, was released from work early: getting home through the deserted streets of Belgrade became the only memory of her 50th birthday. In a small Serbian village, Kristina interviewed locals preparing for a doomsday - the end of the world. The phones in the National Observatory were buzzing with calls from concerned citizens. All TV channels urged citizens to take special protection measures. Yugoslav Aerotransport flights were canceled that day, and the entire country entered a total lockdown. This is what the Total Solar Eclipse on August 11, 1999, looked like in Yugoslavia. 23 years later, 5 witnesses reconstruct their memories of the Eclipse, wondering whether the mass fear it caused was a consequence of the traumatic bombing just 2 months before, or an (un)intentional public media experiment.

Director’s statement
The eclipse lockdown of ‘99 is one of my most vivid childhood memories. Yet, for many years, I wasn’t sure whether I entirely made it up. It became especially relevant during the COVID lockdowns when I began interviewing friends: our childhood memories of abandoned streets, closed shutters, and "experts" on the TV, predicting the end of the world, were stunningly similar. Interestingly, during the bombing of Yugoslavia 2 months earlier, mass public gatherings and concerts were organized during daily air raids.

In this animated doc, I explore the mechanisms of media manipulation, mass-madness and myth-making, and look into the collective trauma through individual recollections and public archives of one perplexing, collectively shared experience.

With the ease that comes with the passage of time, in an occasionally humorous manner, I ask a relevant question: What circumstances lead to such an "anomaly event," and what factors made us so vulnerable and compliant?

Country of production

Serbia

Target audience

25-45

Animation technique

2D (vector based)

Production company

Set Sail Films

Estimated budget

110 000 EUR

Funding secured

23 700 EUR - Film Center Serbia, Set Sail Films

Stage of the project

script development (existing treatment)

Looking for

Animator, co-producer, distributor, broadcaster

Close

CEE Animation is supported by the Creative Europe – MEDIA Programme of the European Union and co-funded by state funds and foundations and professional organisations from the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia.

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