Dušan Makavejev

Innocence Unprotected

Innocence Unprotected

This utterly unclassifiable film is one of Makavejev’s most freewheeling farces, assembled from the “lost” footage of the first Serbian talkie, a silly melodrama titled Innocence Unprotected, made during the Nazi occupation; contemporary interviews with the megaman who made it and other crew members; and images of the World War II destruction, and subsequent rebuilding, of Belgrade. And at its center is a (real-life) character you won’t soon forget: Dragoljub Aleksic, an acrobat, locksmith, and Houdini-style escape artist whom Makavejev uses as the absurd and wondrous basis for a look back at his country’s tumultuous recent history.

Film Info

  • Yugoslavia
  • 1968
  • 75 minutes
  • Color
  • Black & White
  • 1.33:1
  • Serbo-Croatian

Available In

Collector's Set

Eclipse Series 18: Dušan Makavejev—Free Radical

Dušan Makavejev—Free Radical

DVD Box Set

3 Discs


Innocence Unprotected
Dragoljub Aleksic
Ana Milosavljevic
Orphan Nada
Vera Jovanovic-Segvic
Wicked stepmother
Bratoljub Gligorijevic
Ivan Zivkovic
Aleksic's brother
Pera Milosavljevic
Dušan Makavejev
Dušan Makavejev
Bosko Savic
Branko Perak
Cinematography for Aleksic's film
Stevan Miskovic
Ivanka Vukasović
Assistant director
Branko Vucicevic
Vojislav Kostic
Aleksander Popovic


Eclipse Series 18: Dušan Makavejev— Free Radical
Eclipse Series 18: Dušan Makavejev— Free Radical
Man is Not a Bird: Flying Away The term “independent cinema” has lost its punch in recent years, from overuse and misapplication. One need only look to the films of Dušan Makavejev for a reminder of its true meaning. This Serb, who lived and wor…

By Michael Koresky


Dušan Makavejev

Writer, Director

Dušan Makavejev
Dušan Makavejev

“Narrative structure is prison; it is tradition; it is a lie; it is a formula that is imposed,” Dušan Makavejev once said. The Serbian filmmaker, who rose to cinematic fame or infamy (depending on who you ask) in Communist Yugoslavia in the sixties and early seventies, believed in breaking all the rules. Through collage and juxtaposition, Buñuelian absurdity and sexual confrontation, Makavejev freed narrative cinema from all oppressive norms. Influenced as much by Mickey Mouse cartoons and Laurel and Hardy two-reelers as he was by Russian silent films and 1930s British documentaries, Makavejev constructed unpredictable, genre-defying works that opposed the bureaucracy and dogmatic teachings of the socialist state. Man Is Not a Bird (1965), his startling debut, sets a fictional character drama in a real mining complex, and is filmed with gritty realism. His subsequent films are fiction-documentary hybrids as well, and include Love Affair, or The Case of the Missing Switch­board Operator (1967); the whimsical found-footage farce Innocence Unprotected (1968); and the astonishing WR: Mysteries of the Organism (1971), his international breakthrough, which ultimately resulted in his indictment for being a “dissident Marxist” and his 1973 exile from his home country. He continued provoking moviegoers the world over, however, making waves with the controversial Sweet Movie (1974) and the art-house hits Montenegro (1981) and The Coca-Cola Kid (1985).