Croatian Filmmakers Protest Against HRT Censorship

Total Croatia News

“The Ministry of Love” was temporarily removed from the HRT programme due to pressure from war veterans’ associations.

The Croatian Association of Film Producers and the Society of Croatian Film Directors have sent a letter to the Croatian Radio Television (HRT) concerning the postponement of the broadcast of the Croatian film “The Ministry of Love”, directed by Pavo Marinković, which was co-produced by the public television itself, reports on January 9, 2018.

“The Ministry of Love” was supposed to be broadcast on the HRT2 channel on 4 January 2018, but the broadcast was delayed, which caused concerned by the two film industry associations. The delay was a consequence of protest by war veterans’ associations, which are displeased with the movie’s content.

“We are shocked by the fact that it is possible for a group to come to the national public television to protest and in that way change the broadcasting schedule, contrary to all the established procedures, whether it concerns Croatian movies or any other kind of TV content. In other words, it is a very unpleasant feeling that it is possible for such censorship to take place on the Croatian Radio Television,” says the letter sent by the managing boards of the Society of the Croatian Film Directors and the Croatian Association of Film Producers to the HRT management.

“The script for Pavo Marinković’s film ‘The Ministry of Love’ was selected at the HRT competition and the HRT’s editorial board was informed about all the phases of the film’s development. We are surprised by the official statement issued by HRT that, due to the topics covered by the movie, they had decided to ask for the opinion whether its broadcast would comply with legal regulations. We remind the HRT leadership that this film had been selected at their competition, the competition of the Croatian Audiovisual Centre (HAVC), the coproduction contest in the Czech Republic, the Eurimages contest, has already been publicly presented in Croatian cinemas, and has received numerous awards at many film festivals. That makes HRT’s doubts even more strange,” it is stated in the letter, which added that the industry associations hoped that HRT would never again accept any kind of pressure on the national television programming or Croatian culture.

In the film, the Croatian government faces a financial crisis and decides to set up a family inspectorate which investigates all the cases in which widows of fallen soldiers continue to receive pensions from their late husbands, while at the same time they live in extramarital unions with other men.

Rozalia Bartolić, president of the Association of Widows of the Homeland War Veterans, which was among those who wanted to ban the film, declined to comment. “I do not want to comment. I am not ready for any statements. I submit those who will attack us to God’s hands,” said Bartolić.

Daniel Rafaelić, the director of the HAVC, commented on the case. “It seems to me that this case is about politicisation and ungrounded dissatisfaction with one of the best Croatian films in the last ten years. This is really a terrible case,” said Rafaelić.

The Croatian Radio-Television has announced that it would broadcast the film on 11 January.


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