We hardly managed to get in touch with Davor Dujmovic, the famous Perhan from Kusturica’s movie “The time of the Gypsies”. Since we are old acquaintance with Davor, his mother discovered his “solitary” to us, 30 km distance from Sarajevo, where Davor hid himself temporarily. We didn’t look for a long time. 40 minutes later, we recognized the described house. Relaxing ambiance, Peace, Magnificent nature. Davor answered the door, he seemed a bit sleepy. I was afraid that there will be no interview, since he is a quiet person and all. However…
What are you doing here, all alone?
Well, I don’t know, I’m here because it’s more beautiful than in Sarajevo.” Ok, I understand that, I just came from the foggy city.
But tell us: What in fact are you doing here?
I’m resting…from everything… and by that I don’t mean from “The time of the Gypsies” and all the other things connected to that movie: travels, festivals, shootings, interviews… I’m taking a rest from my twenty years of life. I’ll be here for 5-6 months. My intention is to have plenty rest-for the next twenty years, to collect the new energy.
What do you mean to by resting? Sitting, doing nothing? Do you have some kind of a system worked out?
I have a system. I watch movies, read books… I’m planning on enrolling myself to the Faculty of Literature in September. So I could use this time as preparation for studies. I don’t have any certain goal that I’ll follow during these six months and I’m not even sure that I’ll know what that goal is for the first 5 months at least. Sometime in July I’ll know for sure if I’m going to study at all.
Wait, are you saying that your isolation is going to be that strict? You’ll have to go to Sarajevo, right?
No, it’s not that strict, I’ll go to Sarajevo three-four days a week, to finish some things: to have some shootings, play some parts…, that Santic guy for example…”
Tell us a bit more about your jobs, arrangements…
“It’s more like just not to sit and do nothing, you know. But also, I can do without it. I prefer when I start something to finish it. In “Aleksa Santic”, I can’t start and not finish something, if it lasts for 5 days, then 5 days it is… Then it’s more for the money, than anything else really.
Do you have some other job related commitments?
As a matter of fact, I have a job currently. It’s an engagement in the “Moon play”. It’s here in Sarajevo, and I do it once or twice a month. I got back from London recently, where we were guests with our play for month and a half.
And what is London like?
“It’s nothing special. We played there in the most famous theatre ICA-which is a real honor. So for me, that’s enough of London I saw! I don’t need anything else. In May we’ll go to Spain, then Paris.
What did you bring back from London?
I brought expenses!
I meant, some experience, perhaps some new discoveries…
London is a real city, you know! They still managed to maintain some old things; they didn’t let them to go into modern machine. I visited the Planetarium, the Zoo, the Hyde Park…
Have you yelled something in the Hyde Park?
No. I went there for silence.
Wait a second, some divine things, that man can only dream about happened to you and you just keep quite. Are those things really so irrelevant to you?
Well, not that irrelevant. But why would it be important for me?
That is a nice way of life you have. Are you satisfied?
I am very satisfied with my travels, but you know how its’ like, dreams are nicer than reality. For instance, it was much nicer for me till I just dreamt of London then when I got there for real.
You traveled a lot this year. You’ve been to Belgium with Kusturica, How it’s like there?
Well, Belgians are Gods. We were international stars there. As soon as we got off the plane, they took us to the festival, which we opened. A thousand movies were presented there, bunch of actors: much different from Cannes, this one was more of an indoor type. When it comes to frequency-it’s the same, only here everything’s bursting from energy, at one place. It was nice to come from one Sarajevo, where you do something that sucks, to one Brussels where the international stars are.
I red somewhere that the movie is forbidden for teenage audience (under 16 years of age). What’s with that?
It’s like, Belgians are Gods, again! I suppose there are more reasons to it then one, first of all, for the sake of promotion! Children under 16 years of age do not even watch that kind of movies anyway
Is that a bait for those above 18? For moms and dads as well?
Yes. Mom and dad see the movie and then realize why their kids shouldn’t see it. That’s the whole point, I guess. They have their conditions, laws … that’s their opportunity.
If you could summarize everything that you got from this movie: financially, spiritually…, what would it be?
And you like that?
This is what I got: a chance to do what I’ve done. That is a very difficult thing to get here, almost impossible. Under the “things that I’ve done” I consider everything I have: these sweatpants…, the hair on my head… everything. And I got it from the people I worked with, from the people that love me. Maybe they don’t love me! From the people who will read this…
People do love you. Why would they hate you?!
Well I killed Bora!
But that’s just a movie
Yes, it is. I’ll go back to the things that I’ve got from the movie and I got the chance to decide on my own, to think on my own. And I also got that I don’t have to work what I don’t like, which is a huge advantage.
Man, Davor that is a huge luck! To be free in that kind of way? It’s the top of the freedom.
Yes, those kinds of life chances seem to me like: flying to the moon, but we’ll see.
You, however did managed to fly to the Moon. When your vacation is finished, when these six months of your nirvana are over and you, lets say, start with Faculty, where will Davor, the actor be then?
You know what, I plan to stay in movie business as I did so far but to some certain limit. When I stop doing it, I’ll never start doing it again. I’ll just quit forever. I started this acting life by a pure luck. If I was the one who decided to start acting, if I were at the Film Academy and I start to put my efforts in it, it would never be the same.
You, in fact, passed the acting exam, in the class of professor Kusturica! You got the highest grade.
Yes! It’s good that it happened like this, spontaneously. It wouldn’t be good to change it now.
Are there any offers for new parts?
The only offer, which I would consider a real offer, would be from New York from Kusturica. It would be the part of Raskoljnikov in the movie “Crime and punishment”. That is, in fact, what we talked about at the beginning. That would be the thing I would start doing, continue working for a long time with a great dose of commitment and I would finalize it. I would dedicate a half of my life again, but it would be worth it. It would be the same kind of work as for “The time of the Gypsies”, but only with one huge difference. I went to shooting of “The time…” totally unprepared. I lost a lot of energy, weight, everything during that shooting but eventually, I was prepared. For this one, if it happens, I’ll prepare myself good. It’s not exactly a preparation for the part itself but for everything that’s waiting for me there. I red a bit of Dostojevski, of course. I need to familiarize myself with those people and time. The part of Raskoljnikov is still ahead of me.
What do you think about all the things that are happening in the country? Are you interested in all that, are you thinking about it at all?
You know what? I haven’t had my TV antenna installed for ten days, I only watched movies on the video. As for the newspapers, even if I wanted to buy one, I didn’t have chance because I get up late. So, I didn’t follow the news for a while. That is my system.
It also happened that I didn’t watch the TV or red newspapers for a month. And then, when I turned on my TV the other day, there was a whole war going on Kosovo! Whenever I “disconnected” all the connections with the world, something terrible would happen. If it wasn’t Kosovo, then it was Agrokomerc… Many things need to be resolved in this country. But even when Kosovo issue is resolved, I won’t be happy again because I know that Slovenians will say something again, then the people will be upset again and it will repeat over and over again until something is done in general.
What do you think that generally can be done?
Well, when I say in general, I think about the time period of 30 years ahead at least. Everything became so difficult to deal with, and the only way to live normally is to, just like me, avoid social factors that are killing me. They are killing me because I can’t read a book in peace, because I know that somewhere in my country, some people are being killed. Mladen Materic, who directed the “Moon play” says that the things aren’t what they’ve used to be. Here’s the simple example: this ashtray is not like as it used to be, because of the whole situation, it can’t be the same. If everything is ok, all of these cups, pots, sugar are ok, than also the ashtray would be the same. But, if the cups are broken, sugar spread all over the place, pots turned upside down, in all that mess, the ashtray can’t be fine either. Then, I can’t with pleasure, place the ash from my cigarette away either. It is very difficult for anything to be all right, to be as it should and as it’s planned to be. The only possibility is to wait a while, that people (I mean politicians and the rest of them) do something for these people. I’m convinced that our country has to go through this time catharsis. That’s about 30 years’ time, which is necessary for the people to set all those changes on the right way, in their heads, in them.
Emir Kusturica won the AVNOJ award. Some people were thrilled with his speech on this occasion and some of them got upset on his “critical look back”…
The fact that some of them were thrilled and some upset is exactly why it will take 30 years… That’s exactly how much time some people need to realize some things. He got that award when he already had all the others outside our borders. That’s the first irregular thing, but ok, it can be maybe justified in some way. But the reaction of those who were unsatisfied by him in some way cannot be justified. It’s all much more complicated than it seems. So everything was awfully exhausting for Emir. The logical thing would be that when you get some kind of award, you are happy, however, Emir was not as happy as he should’ve been.
It bothers them that he received all of the world awards in a very content manner and that he had such speech for this award, and that doesn’t match with the speech of a “man who is satisfied”?!
You can’t possibly be happy when you are receiving the award for its shape, its function, pose…It always depends on variety of things, just like for that ashtray, cups and everything that surrounds you. And everything is broken all around you… and then how can you be happy for the award you got. If you are happy then that’s a lie… It would be something that is in the machine, which constantly works….
Kusturica surely couldn’t take the award without saying something, without any publicly stated opinion about everything…
I think he held that speech because he had an opportunity for it. It wasn’t just for the award but he used the chance to say something. He didn’t smoke for almost a year but after this, very emotional speech, he had a whole pack of cigarettes. After that, he was a guest in some radio show, and some guy from Mostar asked him: “Do you love this country”? I mean, I start to worry and I start to ask myself if I really say the things that I really mean. If Kusta, after that speech, smokes a whole pack of cigarettes and then somebody asks him a question if he loves this country… well that’s something awesome!
To be honest, traveling, I’ve noticed that there’s some kind of anti-social, even nationalistic tension all over the world. But here, those thirty years have to go bye…
I heard a story now in Sarajevo that Emir will be one of the heads in the Committee for establishment of some new Party, which will be communists’ opposition. That, again, bothers many people interpreting this move as a pure shrewdness and wish for making more points for the audience in America. Because it’s very popular there not to be a communist.
Not in America, or anywhere else in the world does Emir need some points to achieve something. It’s really wrong to think that he would, by poisoning the mouse, could possibly get something more, when it comes to the status in America. The guy achieved everything.
How much are you impacted by that euphoria of forming the new political Parties? All kinds of petitions are being signed. Is there an ideology, which you would like to join?
All this what’s happening, whether it’s good or bad, basically has to start, because the time of catharsis already started, so all those years that I mentioned started to unravel. Now, whether I wanted or not, I have to join something. I have to assist in making some changes. It’s not good to look at all that indifferently. I admit, I still ignore everything, as much as I can because I don’t even know much about all those things. If I, at least, have some facts, some reasons to do something. It seems to me that as the days go bye, we are finding out that we didn’t know anything about something we thought we knew all about.
What was you reaction on that termination of relations between Slovenia-Serbia?
For me, I think it’s really bad because of Serbia! The first town where I went outside my Sarajevo was Belgrade. It doesn’t matter if I go to Zagreb, Ljubljana, and Paris. All my roads are passing through Belgrade. The whole Serbia is, I think, a bit more civilized then Bosnia. And now I hear all kinds of paroles. I don’t know if I still love the people I once loved. And Slovenians? I don’t know whose fault was it. But who knows why it could be good? What bothers me the most is the attitude towards Kosovo. I understand that all those hot spots have to reach an end physically, because it starts to be unbearable. Out of that hot spot there is a smoke coming out and it chokes! Somebody should put that fire off, get rid of the smoke. Here, in Bosnia, as well as in the other parts of Yugoslavia, people look at those things as if it’s a movie. Some people thing this, some that, but everybody is just watching.
I can see that, since our last conversation, many things changed in your life. You are very serious now, when you should be, but I’m interested if anything changed in your opinion about love? You were pretty shy a year ago…
Well, nothing ever changes with me. It’s the same ashtray as when I started shooting “When father was away for business”. It was made then. And everything what I have done, I did it without any second thoughts, spontaneously.
Love is also at the same level, spontaneous
In your isolation, where is the love? In Sarajevo? Have you isolated yourself from her too?
No, I haven’t. This isolation of mine can only fortify the love, because the love is the most spontaneous and the most beautiful emotion. Here, in peace, love has a possibility to spread… she is here, close to me. It’s the same love since the last year
As you are twenty years old, what do you think about marriage?
I don’t think about it at all! It’s a frame, which I’m not interested in at all. That’s, you know, outside my circle. It’s a far more social factor then love.
It’s easy for you when you managed to frame yourself and to leave all of the formal things outside your frame.
Well, that frame is not that strong because it was made spontaneously. It can easily fall off.
It’s a good thing that you aren’t stubborn and that you didn’t make a life principle out of your “frame”…
It’s not really good to be hard on yourself and live by principles. They are tightening a belt of freedom….
True. I’m not that into principles
How about kids? Do you see the kids anywhere in your near future?
I don’t think about the kids at all, and I will not for the next five years at least. First of all, you need to have like 100.000 dollars, at least I have to, and then you can have kids…
Davor, man, isn’t it a bit too much?
Ok, just hypothetically speaking.
It could be good to make a conclusions out of everything we discussed with you: something like your life philosophy (if you can have one when you are only twenty years old):
”Pure rock’n roll. The new primitivism. That is what’s not corrupted yet, and nothing bad what caught the rest of the world, outside the rock’n roll, reached it and nothing ever will. Rock’n roll is like the small country where everybody lives happy;
Rock’n roll is – heaven!
You won’t mind if we publish your phone number, just in case you’re bored or something….
Don’t, please! The whole idea of isolation will be ruined then…