Oscars: Macedonia Selects 'The Liberation of Skopje' for Foreign-Language Category

The Liberation of Skopje - Still 1 - David Todosovski- H 2016
Courtesy of MP Film Production

Rade Serbedzija and his son Danilo teamed up for the film version of a stage play set during World War II.

Macedonia has submitted Rade and Danilo Serbedzija's wartime story The Liberation of Skopje for the best foreign-language film category of the Oscars.

The occupation and liberation of what is now Macedonia's capital, Skopje, during World War II is told by actors turned directors Rade Serbedzija and his son Danilo through the eyes of eight-year-old Zoran (David Todosovski).

The Red Army's liberation from German and Bulgarian occupation of what was then a provincial Yugoslav city is the story of the cruelty of war, poverty and suffering in which young Zoran witnesses his Jewish friend Renata Rossman and her family being taken away to a concentration camp but also knows his Uncle Gjorgija (Rade Serbedzija) is a partisan battling the Nazis.

Both Rade and Danilo appeared in the original 1980 stage version of The Liberation of Skopje by Serbian stage director Dusan Jovanovic in Zagreb, Croatia. Vanessa Redgrave later appeared in a 1995 British version at London's Riverside Studios.

The film was produced by Partysans Production in Skopje, Lijeni Film in Zagreb, Art Films Production in Helsinki, and MP Film Production in Zagreb and co-produced by Film and Music Entertainment in London.

Macedonia has made 14 submissions in the foreign-language Oscar category since 1994, but only the first, Milcho Manchevski's Before the Rain, was nominated.