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Non-Aligned: Scenes from the Labudović Reels cover image

Non-Aligned: Scenes from the Labudović Reels 2022

Highly Recommended

Distributed by Icarus Films, 32 Court St., 21st Floor, Brooklyn, NY 11201; 800-876-1710
Produced by Carine Chichkowsky, Vanja Jambrovic, Tibor Keser, Vuk Perovic, and Mila Turajlic
Directed by Mila Turajlić
Streaming, 100 mins

College - General Adult
Journalism; United Nations; World History

Date Entered: 11/16/2023

Reviewed by lorraine wochna, Performing Arts Librarian, African American Studies/Literature, Ohio University

The film opens with the director’s statement, “For six days in 1961 my city was the center of the world.” The director, Mila Turajlić, comes across thousands of newsreels at the Filmske Novasti documenting the Non-Aligned Movement in Belgrade (The Belgrade Summit) and the preceding history around the movement.

President Tito of (former) Yugoslavia brings together leaders from more than 25 countries to meet in Belgrade to discuss how they can work together to fight colonialism and imperialism and make their voices heard in a world that is very East-West | US-Russia dominated. Tito’s cameraman, Stevan Labudović, documented the entire experience, not only of the summit in Belgrade, but as a cameraman, he followed Tito wherever he went, over 112 countries.

This film is a labor of love. What begins as an exploration of newsreel footage of the 1961 Non-Aligned summit in Belgrade, becomes a riveting story about the cameraman, Labudović. Everything is seen through his eyes. The director reconstructs the history through the newsreel footage, but Labudović becomes the narrator of the story.

The film is very well structured, using never-before-seen newsreel footage and photographs, the director weaves together the footage through the eyes of Labudovic. The film moves flawlessly between archival footage and storytelling revealing a lost piece of important history. These countries and their leaders believed in coming together with the same goals--breaking away from colonialism and imperialism and standing independently.

Highly recommended. A fascinating look at a historical time, this film is suited for documentary photography, film studies, journalism, media, the Cold War, Russia and US relations.

IDFA Award for Best Feature-Length Documentary, 2022

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