white man with long hair and a helmet rides a motorcycle through the countrysidealr

(Stara masina)

Directed by Zelimir Zilnik.
With Boris Nin, Rahela Macic, Andrej Rozman.
Yugoslavia, 1989, digital video, color, 81 min.
Serbo-Croatian with English subtitles.
Copy source: Filmmaker

Oldtimer is one example of Zilnik shifting gears to depict unusual migratory roads. After an altercation with his editor, Igor—a thirty-something radio host and journalist—departs hometown Ljubljana in search of respite in Greece. He embarks on his old-timer DKW motorcycle, traversing Croatia, Bosnia and Serbia; there, he inadvertently slips into the vortex of “anti-bureaucratic” nationalist protests, organized in support of Slobodan Milosevic. The dissolution of former Yugoslavia was still two years away, yet Igor could sense extreme ethnoparticularism in the air. “The war hasn’t started yet, but it is better to be prepared,” he exclaims upon exiting the country. A work of fiction that hits close to home (clearheadedly denouncing the terror these immense gatherings would soon turn into), Oldtimer is at the same time one of Zilnik’s several road movies. Taking place on highways and domestic side alleys, the film expertly investigates emigration as the augury of future Yugoslavia, with over four million having to leave their home in the 1990s.

Part of film series

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Filmmaker, Guest Worker: Zelimir Zilnik’s Expatriates