In Montenegro, as in Dalmatia, the vineyard is not counted by the surface of the land, but by the number of grapevines, because the land is not the most important factor
In the village, everything is remembered much longer. My name is long there: Nikola Ivov, Iva Radojeva, Radoj Nikolina
He explores the film magic, bringing it to the canvas, but he is equally interested in the everyday film magic, famous Montenegrin director Nikola Vukčevič, the author of A View from Eiffel Tower, The Boys from Marks and Engels Street, this summer had a specific task – he directed the opening of the Olympic Games of small countries in Budva.
It was a multimedia project involving about 300 contractors and about 150 people in technology. Under the slogan HOW BIG WE ARE – the story of the 2000 years of the Balkans and Montenegro was told, in two and a half hours, as it is fitting with such ceremonies. There was talk about the ancient myth of Cadmus’s search for Sister Europe, first Cyrillic Octoechos book, melting the lead letters of a printing press into bullets in order to defend freedom, to the inspirational elements of the 20th century: a smile before the shooting of the hero Ljuba Čupića, the great earthquake on the Montenegrin coast the 1970s and Yugoslav solidarity on the subject. All in all: twenty pictures showing the strength of the individual, under the motto How big are we.
Rain is my companion
That action lasted more than a year. And then something happened that wasn’t directed.
“The last two days there has been an incredible rain, therefore, we did not have any general rehearsals. It looked like it would be a fiasco because everything was out in the open. On the day of the performance, just a few minutes after 9 pm, when the ceremony should begin, the rain stopped. We took a deep breath, went to the stage and performed our own, with pleasure and energy. And now we follow the beautiful impressions that come from all over the world.” says Nikola.
He is currently preparing the film “Honor”, and so far they have provided stage support to the Film Center of Montenegro and the Film Center of Serbia. The plot is located during the Second World War, among Orthodox and Muslims. It’s an old myth of bravery and sacrifice.
“Although situated in the past, this story is very much in line with the present times we live in. Acting honestly, even at the cost of life – is an example for which our film is searching for, as it recalls the forgotten values of that deepest human feeling – dignity and honor, at a time when not only in the Balkans but globally, we are no longer sure of the concepts of virtue and security, with whom we were raised. Believing that in the Balkans – nowadays this story is very much needed, a story – that transcends religious and national divisions, I gathered a team of artists and friends: from Ljubljana to Amsterdam, Belgrade, Podgorica, Pristina, Skopje; making this movie – we speak several languages, with mutual respect, convinced that we really need this movie. “
With ancestors in the vineyard
Nikola finished directing in Novi Sad and now he remembers that with a smile.
“Some bleak year of 1994 I enrolled at the Academy of Arts in Novi Sad; although these were dark years of war, poverty, and sanctions – I remember them for the excitement of discovering the first steps of the profession. Then, one winter, with my classmates, we did my exam theater performance of the third year of study, ZOO STORY – which then played for 7 or 8 seasons, I am not sure at these beautiful numbers, on the camera scene of the Novi Sad Serbian National Theatre.”
With his second film, The Boys from Marks and Engels Street, which was a Montenegrin Oscar nominee, he made a good trip around the globe. In addition to the film, Nikola Vukčević also discovered a new kind of hedonism and began producing wine on his family estate.
“At first, my intention in the vineyard was, after the death of my father, to whom that vineyard was a particular passion, not to let his labors fail. Gradually, a relationship has formed and that started interesting me. And that work in the vineyard is very intense: from January to April at least one day a week, and from April to September two days a week; with all my usual commitments, this all together slowly becomes several parallel lives.
In Montenegro, as in Dalmatia, the vineyard is not counted by the surface of the land, but by the number of grapevines, because the land is not the most important factor. In the village, everything is remembered much longer. I realized that my name there was a little different from what I usually call myself and that it was long: Nikola Ivov, Iva Radojeva, Radoj Nikolina – and that, through this type of naming, I live with all my late ancestors, until my great grandfather Nikola, an American miner and my father’s grandfather, Radoj. With ancestors, in the same place where they kept their vineyards. “