Carmen Gray
Carmen is a freelance film critic and regular contributor to Modern Times Review.

Hotel Jugoslavija appears as a mirror image of the Yugoslav glory and downfall, symbolised by the once grand and luxurious hotel in the capital of a country that ceased to exist.

Hotel Jugoslavija

Nicolas Wagnières

2017, Switzerland, USA

As with the other nations once under Communist rule, the republics of the former Yugoslavia remain home to iconic buildings and monuments that are now being fetishized by the West as fading relics of a world outside capitalism.

Director Nicolas Wagnières in his debut documentary feature Hotel Jugoslavija (2017), which screened at the Berlin International Film Festival this February, considers such a flagship edifice as a prism to reflect on the past, and to mourn the loss of images that have lost their legitimacy.

Declining fortunes

Located at the Belgrade Danube banks, Hotel Jugoslavija opened its doors in 1969 and was in the years that followed one of the biggest and luxurious hotels in the former Yugoslavia.

Wagnières’ film argues that the declining fortunes of the hotel mirror those of Yugoslavia as a whole, as it broke apart amid rising nationalism.

https://vimeo.com/238843730

At the time of the filming, the year is 2005 and the hotel – which the director only discovered as an adult when he rekindled contact with Belgrade – is about to be closed for renovation. Wagnières keeps returning to it «near-religiously» over the years, «filming to retain and regain», as he puts it.

The fading letters of the hotel name, emblazoned across its vast façade, now bares the witness of its past time glory that has been slowly fading after the end of the Yugoslav era. Perhaps it is known to some foreigners nowadays as a curiosity and a memorial to the Brutalist architecture commissioned by Tito, which characterised the era and appears to us as taken straight out of a sci-fi movie.

Hotel Jugoslavija Director: Nicolas Wagnières

Login to continue...

You have now read 4 free articles this month, so log in if you are a subscriber,
or please click here for subscription (3 euro/month) to read all articles.


-

13 COMMENTS

  1. Nice post. I learn something new and challenging on sites I stumbleupon on a daily basis.
    It will always be exciting to read content from
    other writers and practice a little something from their websites.

  2. I’ve been exploring for a little bit for any high-quality articles or weblog posts on this
    kind of space . Exploring in Yahoo I ultimately stumbled upon this
    web site. Reading this info So i’m glad to show that I’ve an incredibly
    good uncanny feeling I found out just what I needed.
    I so much undoubtedly will make sure to do not omit this web site and provides it
    a glance on a continuing basis.

  3. Hey There. I found your blog using msn. This is a very well written article.
    I will make sure to bookmark it and return to read more of
    your useful information. Thanks for the post. I’ll definitely comeback.

  4. Woah! I’m really digging the template/theme of this site.
    It’s simple, yet effective. A lot of times it’s difficult to get
    that “perfect balance” between usability and visual
    appeal. I must say that you’ve done a awesome job with this.
    Also, the blog loads very quick for me on Firefox. Excellent Blog!

  5. Hey there! I know this is kind of off topic but
    I was wondering if you knew where I could find a captcha plugin for my comment
    form? I’m using the same blog platform as yours and I’m having problems finding
    one? Thanks a lot!

Why not leave a reply?