Zivojin Pavlovic - Budjenje pacova AKA The Rats Woke Up (1967)

A wonderful film from my favourite Serbian director.  It is a bitter film, almost a tragicomedy, about a person whose sense of morality and justice is at odds with the general coruption surrounding him.  A dissillusioned communist, paralysed with fear that his support for Stalin during the clash with the USSR will surface and destroy him is on a spiral downfall to the gutters of the supposedly egalitarian society.  Of course, the gutter is populated by a host of characters struggling to survive like rats in a dog-eat-dog (or better rat-eat-rat) society.   Alcholics, whores, homosexuals, black marketeers bite against each other like starving rats in a barrel, but there is no way any of them is going to be able to claw out of it....

I can not make an impartial judgement, but, for what is worth, I highly recommend this film.

Velimir Bamberg lives a very lonely life. The only contact he has with the outside world is through the choral society to which he belongs. Bamberg has a sister who is ill. He would like to send her to the sea-side, but he can't afford it, and he doesn't want to do anything illegal. He refuses some dubious business offered to him by his friend, Lale, and tries to do the money elsewhere. Trying to improve his situation, he will become involved in a series of tragicomic situation end up by falling in love with a young woman. With her in his side, he feels he is ready to change this absurd life of his, and sets out to realize his plan with some money borrowed from a friend. However he will soon discover that it is not always so simple to change one's lot in life….

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