The legacy of writer Bekim Sejranović, who died prematurely, includes a number of great novels and collections of short stories, and one highly unusual film. The documentary “From Tokyo to Morava” is actually a story about Bekim, directed by his friend, Japanese director Moku Teraoka. Four years ago, Bekim was a dear guest and a member of the jury of the Split Film Festival, and on that occasion he gave a lecture “A man of his words or why I can’t make a film”. Below are edited excerpts from the interview with Slobodna Dalmacija journalist Marko Njegić, published on September 14, 2016.
“I tried to write a screenplay several times, but it didn’t turn out so well. I also played a role in creating a documentary, more of a semi-amateur role, so to speak. (At the lecture) I talked about how I failed to make a film. I still don’t know how to make a film, but at least I learned how not to make a film.
I like watching movies, I’ve never been a fan of theater, but by vocation I’m a storyteller, not a screenwriter, although – never say never. I have known about this festival for a very long time, I know Branko Karabatić and it was an honor and a surprise when he invited me to be on the jury. Because, honestly, I love watching movies, but I’m not part of that world. Still, I think it’s important to have someone on the jury who can give a different perspective. I am primarily interested in how the story is told, the plot must be hole-free. I’m very meticulous, I notice the little things that just bother me, inconsistencies in the narrative. I find this festival interesting because it presents films completely out of mainstream, that I would probably never have a chance to see I didn’t come to the festival.
(As far as politics and current affairs are concerned) it is important to see films which give us the picture we cannot see in the mainstream media. (…) We need to listen to individuals, artists who look at the world from a position that may be too subversive or provocative for some people, or even unacceptable. Why not make provocative films, completely out of line with the objective situation? Cinematography should be ahead of our times, prepare us for things to come.”
Moku Teraoka / Bekim Serjanović
From Tokyo to the Morava River, 2012, 77’