Saturday, August 15, 2009

The Forger

By Li Novak

Belgrade, July 21 ( Serbia Today) - The closing of the theatre season has been marked by the significant play The Forger, wrote and directed by our famous film and theatre director Goran Marković.
The play is part of the trans-European theatre project After the Fall, conceived and executed by the Goethe institute. The idea behind this cross-border theatre project is to explore the consequences after the fall of the Berlin Wall, so artists from many European countries (15 of them), were invited to join in and offer their creative answers to the question posed. The project started in 2007. The position of Yugoslavia in the time of the fall was peculiar as it could possibly be.
While Europe was facing renewal, we here faced utter destruction. Our director offered his answer to the enigma of the fall of Yugoslavia. The story in ‘The Forger’, even though framed by official images of President Tito doing the things he knew best: parting endlessly with world-class guests, is actually a tale about all of us and the way that we, ordinary citizens, took active and quite irrational part in the utter destruction of our society. In Yugoslavia, phantasmagoric country of illusions, people were living their little phantasmagoric lives, the only ones they have. They are moving inside the five-pointed star (simple and excellent scene solution) and there is no other space for them. The star represents safety and warmness, but also their limitation and absence of real freedom.
Everybody in this story cheats, everybody lies, and everybody steals, often from his or her closest ones. Our hero is a man named Andjelko, ‘the good forger’. He does engage in criminal activity, he forges school diplomas, although without charge. He just wants to be good to people and thinks that these acts are good for the humanity. When he finally gets caught, that represents dramatic turn over. Everything and everybody shows their real faces. Main character is a symbol of the huge naivety of the Yugoslav people. An ordinary citizen of Yugoslavia believed that the government would take care of everything. We all decided to believe in a truth as simple as it is false: that in the land of thieves an innocent man is a fool…
According to Markovic, Yugoslavia did not begin to disintegrate in the 1990s. In his view, the process started in the Tito era, when the brutal suppression of the late 1960s student unrest also left people’s ideals in tatters. What remained was a disillusioned society.
The leading role is played by Tihomir Stanić and the rest of the acting crew is Miodrag Krivokapić, Ljubomir Bandović, Danijel Sič, Nataša Marković, among the others.
By this play, director Marković gives personal contribution to multicultural dialogue, in years after the cold war. He talks about significant subjects, and about emotional reality, which is sometimes more important then the bare facts.
We are looking for the next theatre season, when The Forger will get the attention and popularity, which surely deserves.

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