Directed by Goran Marković
Specijalno vaspitanje (Special Education, 1977) is one of my favourite movies from ex Yugoslavia. It’s a sensitively written, acted and directed drama centered on the coming of age process of a boy Pera (Slavko Štimac) who is sent to the juvenile center in Belgrade in the middle 70s. There he befriends a quiet and disturbed Ljupče (Aleksandar Berček) and their teacher Žarko (Bekim Fehmiu).
This film is sad, funny, charming, at times gritty, hopeful and tragic tale of the tribulations of the human spirit, and it shows all its nuances with a sensitive brush of inspired master (this was a directorial debut of Goran Marković, who would go on to make excellent comedy ‘Nacionalna klasa’/’National Class’, horror films ‘Déjà vu’ and ‘Variola Vera’ and a surreal dark comedy-drama ‘Sabirni centar’/’The Meeting Point’). ‘Special Education’ shows more influences of neorealism and Prague film school (a school Marković attended) than his later films, and Marković elevates it to the level of the masterpiece.