This is an integral version of the interview made by Lucy Fisher from Time Magazine in July 1998 with the Macedonian movie director Stole Popov. On the next two pages we present you this interview and we hope that you will find this reading interesting
1. Did you ever think of another profession, or did you follow your father into films?
No , I have never thought about it. My desire for film occurred early in my youth and took its course spontaneously. My father and grandfather were both into the filming profession. One as a professional photographer at the beginning of this century, and the other one as a cameraman and director. As a child I never believed in verbal communication. I have always thought of it as dishonest and fake. I was never interested in hearing people talk, but what attracted me was their behavior, gests and emotions. I was attracted by human faces, small and unimportant gests and reactions almost invisible for the human eye. I soon realized that the camera makes no mistakes and has no mercy. The camera is a dog that after a second knows whether you are a friend or not. As a child that denied the words, and worshipped the movie picture as a reflection of reality, you start to process your toughts through an infinite film track. The substance of film making is a personal attitude towards reality, and power which enables you to differ a lie from truth
2. What are your father’s films like ? Are yours very different?
My father is one of the pioneers of the Yugoslavian and Macedonian documentaries. He started filming after the Second World War, at the time when Yugoslavia was led by Tito . That generation of film directors was created under great influence of the” Soviet film school” , which percieved the film as a fact and document of the” perfect socialist reality”. Despite the ideological limits, that generation of film makers made interesting, sincere, and powerful movies, full of enthusiasm, and they contributed to the development of the documentary expression. The next generation of film makers elevated the Yugoslav documentary to the highest world reaching. NIy generation was inspired by Italian neorealism , French New Wave, Chezch School, and Russian modernism. Our films dropped the ideological burden, were sarcastic towards the political demagogy, and were open, sharp, and critical towards the social reality. They followed the Yugoslav ” Black wave” from the 1960’s. The films were getting more personal, with subjective point of view of things, less and less were “solving the problems” , and more and more were revealing them and setting them up . I doubt when the film wants something” important” to say, I trust in it only when it makes human touch. Besides the contents, I was more interested in style and form.
3. What led you to make your early documentaries?
For each film maker documentaries are an exceptional beginning. The authenticity stimulates true emotions that guarantee high identification of the viewers with the characters. Besides that the documentaries are a challenge because of their open structure where each small change can give you a new meaning.
4 . What “DAE” represents?
DAE is a film that emphasizes atmosphere and impression, film without any words. DAE represents documentary surealistic poetic vision which tells about the life of the gypsy nomads. DAE is seeking for the primordial belief or freedom, released from the burdens of modern civilization. The life of the gypsies is
bitter but the film is lyrical and full of romanticism. DAE (” Mother ! ” ) offers a tempting life philosophy that in a same time excites and frightens the viewer. Put in a more simple way, it is the same as with the antiheroes, you adore Billy the Kid but you don’t have any courage to face Pit Gareth.
For Part two click here