INTERVIEW :: INTERVIEW WITH NEDELJKO DESPOTOVIC - LEGACY FOR THE FUTURE

The film “I chose” is a testament trilogy of Ljuba Tadic, his personal choice of monodramas. One could think it was at the same time the easiest way to make the film, but it is not the case. Socrates, Archpriest Mateja Nenadovic and Krap are the main characters played in the theatre by Ljuba Tadic. The film was produced by the Idea Plus marketing agency, which was also Tadic's personal choice:

- His choice of production house is interesting. He didn't opt for a big producer, but for a marketing agency, for which such project is a debut. It's not by accident. Ljuba's whole life was on the edge of the institutional and the alternative; very often he substituted the institution with personal intuition of Ljuba Tadic and hence this last choice seems to be perfectly justified, the director Nedeljko Despotovic says. He adds:

- These are three mono dramas: the first is “Socrates' Defense and Death” which is his most played radio drama. He had identified with it to the point of requesting that at his funeral nobody makes a speech and that he makes a speech for himself – a part from his drama taking place after Socrates' death was heard on loudspeakers in which he asks the question who's going to a better place – the one who dies or the one who lives.

We have returned the drama to Plato's dialogue, shooting it in the amphitheater of the Faculty of Law. This moment has shown Ljuba's greatness: he personally distributed the roles to amateurs, students and he went out in front of 1200 people. We decided to shoot this in front of the audience, knowing that Ljuba cares very much for it. “The Memoirs of Prota Mateja Nenadovic” is a mono drama from 1970 that he played 500 times. The first text speaks about nationality; it was shot in Brankovina, on the very tomb of Prota Mateja.

“Krap's Last Tape” is the first piece he has directed in his rich life, by removing the word Krap and assuming that character.

What's characteristic for all three plays? The fact that they are about the same age as Ljuba Tadic and vice-versa and all three characters are reflecting about their lives and weighing on how they did in life. It wasn't easy, for it's hard to shoot a theatre play and keep it as it is; we found the key for that problem in Ljuba Tadic himself. We have tried through his character to reach the character he plays and he has identified himself with.

After we did all that and it seemed pretty successful, we have proposed Mr. Tadic to make some kind of introduction and shoot it, in order to round up this trilogy and it's the film “I chose”. Unfortunately, Ljuba Tadic died while working on that film and we finished it after his death; hence, it has remained a testimony not only about his life, but also about his death.

At the beginning of the film, Ljuba Tadic is making a speech at his own funeral; we burry him, in order for him to be resurrected afterwards through his mono dramas. This is a structure speaking about the ephemerity of death and eternal life he has ensured for himself through these mono dramas. This is not an ordinary film; this is not a eulogy to Ljuba Tadic. This a real film with its own coherent structure that is there to protect if from ephemerity and obsoleteness. Working on this film we have understood that our mission was to safeguard all the above for the future.