One of the project participants had a very personal reason to take part at the „Code Viking 1942-2021“: for Marina Veselinović the story of Yugoslav prisoners and forced laborers, who were deported to Norway by Nazi Germany is not just one of many tragic episodes of the Second World War; this is part of her own family’s history. Milan Stančić, her great-grandfather’s brother was one of these Yugoslavs. As a communist he belonged to a resistance group in his native town Kumane and was trying to oppose the German occupation. Further details of his story are revealed in Marina’s movie.
The figure of Milan Stančić stands in the middle of the narration: all the historic and archival materials, photos and videos from Belgrade and Pančevo as well as ones of the few photos that are left from Marina’s family archive were used to portray his story. It is extremely rare, that we have a complete story of a war victim from the beginning till the end. We can trace the path of Milan from Kumane until the day he was shot in Beisfjord.
The aim of movie is not only to inform, but also to create an empathic response:
„What I wanted to convey was the feeling. We all know the history, we all heard about it, but it doesn’t trigger much feelings. So I wanted to tell the story about one person who was there, about everything that happened – from his perspective, from his side”.
For the same reason we can see the snow on some pictures and hear it crunch. So the viewers could try to imagine how hard it was for Milan back then: he had to walk 7 km through the snow on that winter Sunday, when he was escaping from the Germans.
The author of the movie believes that there is a duty for everyone to prevent history from being forgotten, although it is emotionally hard to confront such topics:
„I cried few times. I was feeling helpless and powerless, I felt sad. […] I told my family everything related to the project. It was very hard for them too”.
Marina couldn’t reach Norway, as the accident stopped the project. But she is willing to continue and to find out more details and materials, especially about the Norwegian part of her ancestor’s history. So she is going to get in touch with the researches from the Narvik War and Peace Centre. The search goes on.
More Serbian movies by Jovana Perišić, Zorica Stamenković and Veronika Vasilić with background informations are coming soon.