On the occasion of the 60th anniversary of the catastrophic earthquake that hit Skopje, the Cinematheque of RS Macedonia will premiere the digitized film MEMENTO by DimitrieOsmanli. On July 26, starting at 6:00 p.m. and projection a selection of short film magazines by “FilmskeNovosti” on the occasion of the earthquake in Skopje, as well as a projection of MEMENTO, the Cinematheque will join in commemorating this significant day that changed the life of this city 60 years ago.
In 1963, a devastating earthquake struck the capital of the Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. Most of the city was reduced to rubble, about 2,000 people lost their lives, and several hundred thousand lost their homes. The hard work that followed, to rebuild the city, was marked by significant international aid that managed to raise the city of Skopje.
After the devastating earthquake, the international community, or rather 87 countries, joined forces to help the people of Skopje and for the first time since the beginning of the so-called Cold War, American and Soviet military forces worked side by side for the benefit of civilians, in order to build homes, schools and hospitals. That is why even today in Skopje there are streets and buildings whose names are deeply connected with the cities and countries of Germany, Poland, Mexico, Romania, Canada, Czechoslovakia, Poland, India, Finland, the United Kingdom, Japan, Russia, the USA, etc.
Already in 1964, the year after the earthquake, in memory of the victims of the earthquake, but also in memory of the solidarity of the world and the nations, the “Meetings of Solidarity” manifestations began to be held. This international event brought many world-famous musicians and artists to Skopje, such as the Golden Gate Quartet, the painter Pablo Picasso, Gilbert Becco, Charles Aznavour, Zubin Mehta, etc., so today Skopje proudly bears the title “The City of Solidarity”.
On the occasion of this commemoration, the Cinematheque will show an extraordinary selection of short film journals of “FilmskeNovosti” that were recorded after the earthquake under the common title THANK YOU FRIENDS. The films show authentic archival footage of the ruins of the city, but they are also significant because they also document international aid. Part of this selection are the films: “Thank you Friends (help from Great Britain)”, “Thank you Friends (help from Czechoslovakia)”, “Thank you Friends (help from the World Council of Churches)”, “Thank you Friends (help from the USA)” and “SR Croatia for Skopje”.
As part of the program on July 26, starting at 8 p.m., there is also a projection of the film MEMENTO by DimitrieOsmanli, which is also part of the 4th edition of the “Season of Film Classics” project, organized by ACE (Association of European Cinematheques). At the same time, the film MEMENTO will have an online premiere projection that will be shown on the official website of the Cinematheque as well as on social networks: Facebook, Instagram and YouTube.
MEMENTO by DimitrieOsmanli was recorded in 1967 and tells the story of Jana, who through conversations and reminiscences with the German conductor Willy Müller remembers her past and the family tragedy she experienced in the catastrophic earthquake in Skopje.
From June to December 2023, with projections in various European cinemas, as well as free “online projections”, these films will be shown within the framework of this project which aims to promote the common cultural heritage through the so-called “heritage” films (film heritage), with a particular emphasis on attracting young audiences.
The “Season of Film Classics” program this year includes more than 20 institutions that care for European film heritage, including the Yugoslav Cinematheque – Yugoslav Film Archive from Belgrade, the National Film Institute of Hungary – the Film Archive from Budapest, the Slovenian Cinematheque from Ljubljana, the Czech Film Archive from Prague, the Cinematheque of Macedonia from Skopje, the Bulgarian National Film Archive from Sofia, the Cinematheque of the National Archive of Estonia from Tallinn and The State Archive of Croatia – Croatian Cinematheque from Zagreb.
The projections are organized by the Cinematheque of North Macedonia, as well as the Ministry of Culture of North Macedonia and the Season of Film Classics project organized by the Association of European Cinematheques (ACE).
6:00 p.m. – A selection of short film magazines of “FilmskeNovosti” on the occasion of the earthquake in Skopje 1963
8:00 p.m. – Premiere projection of a digitized film copy of
Feature film, Macedonia, 1968, 97 min., black and white, DCP
Directed by: DimitrieOsmanli
Roles: StevoZhigon, Renata Freinskorn, PredragQeramilac, DragiKostovski, Nada Geshoska, PetrePrlichko, TodorNikolovski
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