Active almost six decades, Želimir Žilnik is undoubtedly one of the key figures of politically and socially engaged film. Žilnik’s filmography, comprising around 70 titles, is a synonym for a consistent and uncompromising creative poetics, dedicated to documenting and challenging the political and social climate in post-war Europe and (post-)Yugoslav context. Over the course of several years spent in Munich, where he went after his films were assessed as ideologically unwanted in Yugoslavia, Žilnik continued to turn his camera to marginalised and disenfranchised subjects. Migrant workers whose life in a foreign country is subjected to a series of limitations, uncertain living conditions devoid of privileges and repressive methods of the regime are the topics of his independently produced films, important examples of Žilnik’s “cinema of Europe’s internal refugees”, as Pavle Levi calls it.
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