Vlak Bez Voznog Reda

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(Train without a Timetable)

Yugoslavia, 1959

Director: Veljko Bulajic

Production: Jadran Film; Totalscope, colour; running time: 120 minutes.

Producer: Stjepan Gurudulic; screenplay: Veljko Bulajic, Ivo Braut, Stjepan Perovic, and Elio Petri, based on an idea by Veljko Bulajic; photography: Kreso Grcevic; editor: Blazenka Jenci; art director: Dusko Jericevic; music: Vladimir Kraus-Rajteric.

Cast: Olivera Markovic (Ika); Lia-Rho Barberi (Venka); Inge Ilin (Dana); Liljana Vajler (Zeka); Ivica Pajer (Nikolica); Milan Milosevic (Perisa); Stole Arandjelovic (Lovre); Jan Sid (Jole).



Variety (New York), 13 May 1959.

Kostelofsky, J., Film Quarterly (Berkeley), Spring 1960.

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During the 1950s foreign directors came to Yugoslavia to make films that they were not able to make in their own countries for cultural or political reasons.

In 1959 Veljko Bulajic (one of De Sica's assistants) made Vlak bez voznog reda (Train without a Timetable), a neo-realistic epic about the transferral of whole villages from the poverty-stricken coastal regions of Dalmatia to the fertile plains of Vojvodina. By far his best film to date, Vlak bez voznog reda was made in the days before Bulajic embarked on a career making big budget international co-productions (usually glorifying the major battles of the Partisan war and the exploits of Comrade Tito).

The participants in this great migration travelled in freight cars with their few possessions. These trains travelled very slowly and their frequent stops allowed them to meet new people and undergo hitherto unknown experiences. Thus, the film becomes a picture about the possibilities of a better life for the travelling peasants, and about their desires and aspirations for their new land.

A film that explores human dignity, at times harshly realistic and bursting with the bitter mirth and acrid coarseness of the rough, volatile, and high-spirited people of Dalmatia, Vlak bez voznog reda is one of the best films of its time.

—Mike Downey