about the film  
film projections  
director’s statement
crew bios
technical info

It’s getting more and more frequent, especially among young people in my surroundings, to see that they blame others for their wretched life and everything bad that is happening to them. They usually blame their parents, bad economic situation in the country, heredity or their own ill fate. Pondering this matter and questioning the situations when I reacted in a similar way, I was inspired to make this film about them, about all of us, about the people who spend most of their life inactively, chained by their own habits and lethargy, putting off the moment to take action again and rejecting responsibility.

I wished to make a film about all of us ready to criticize. About us who always know what our goal is, but sometimes don’t have either strength or courage to even start the race leading us to the goal desired. Passivity is a problem both for an individual as well as the whole society. We keep asking ourselves where this need for putting off the moment of our own awakening, getting up and leaving the bedroom we live in comes from. What makes some people wake up and get moving? Is someone allowed and able to take such liberty of watching their own life from afar, doing nothing? Or they should take matters into their own hands and accept responsibility for the decisions they make? How can we make this first step and get moving again?

At the beginning of 2013 my wife Sladjana Petrovic Varagic who is the director of Pozega Art Gallery told me she intended to invite her friend Darko Babic to exhibit his works in the gallery. I wouldn’t have find it strange whatsoever, if we hadn’t known that Darko hadn’t even drawn a line, let alone painted something for more than 10 years. We were also aware of the fact that his physical condition was extremely damaged by multiple sclerosis. However, Sladjana believed that if he accepted her pure and friendly intention, this responsibilty to the public and his friends would inspire him not only to start painting and drawing again, but also to make other changes in his life.

Knowing the whole situation, I thought this idea had a very uncertain outcome. But at the same time, Sladjana’s idea seemed rather appealing to me to make a film about Darko Babic and tell a universal and onmipresent story about people being in a passive state and get moving again. Darko accepted the invitation and for the first time after 10 years, he soon took a pencil and a piece of paper in his hands and started making his self-portrait.These were the first shots we filmed. Making a lot of effort, Darko peristently kept drawing lines in spite of his involuntary arm and hand tremors. After two hours of drawing,  Darko tossed his pencil in the air and said exhaustedly: “It’s enough for today!” He only managed to do the right side of his portrait. He wasn’t able to finish his left side. We stopped the shooting and agreed to continue the next day. But the next day Darko wasn’t feeling well and he put off the shooting for the following day. But then he kept putting off the shooting from one day to the next. So after three months we managed to shoot only a half of his self-portrait and we had just a few minutes of footage.


In the meantime, Darko was invited by the Association of people with disabilities in Pozega to run art workshops on the association premises twice a week to the children who are members of the association. We went on with the shooting. Working with these children brought Darko back to work. They somehow reminded him who he was and offered him an opportunity to enjoy this proccess of creating, purely and freely, like a child. We could all notice a change in him. Work with the children had an influence over him as well as our film dramaturgy. The children became a great motivation in Darko’s life, his creativity and our film as well.

During the whole process, we witnessed Darko’s struggle with his firmly established habits and disease. We  recorded every single time he got himself moving and gave up again. And there was this constant air of uncertainty above Darko, Sladjana, people from the gallery as well as us, the film crew. Would we have a film with an affirmative idea? Would the exhibition come to life? To us, this exhibition wasn’t going to be the same as all other exhibitons. It signified a triumph of life, it was more than just art.


© Independent Film Center FILMART, 2014