After being selected for the Balkan Documentary Center, IDF EX Oriente and EURODOC (regional group) training programs in 2019 and supported by Film Center of Serbia for Project development (2019) and Co-financing of production (2020) the project of the feature-length documentary film Goodbye Heroes by director and producer Vladimir Milovanović was supported in the competition of Single development projects by the Creative Europe MEDIA program.
Two elderly partisan veterans, Misa and Zdenko, impart endless lessons of antifascism and resilience to a filmmaker Vladimir while they all join forces to preserve a WWII memorial, uncovering enduring human connections that transcend age and ideology.
Slow and painful attempt to save the WWII Fallen hero’s memorial from becoming a ruin or a top estate for greedy capitalism reveals a society where the only heroes are the couple of old partisan veterans. Misa and Zdenko, both over 90 years old, were child partisans during World War II and active and respected members of society in socialist Yugoslavia. They are accompanied by the 40 yeras old puzzled director trying to keep them alive through the pandemic times while telling his own story of a child who expected a bright, utopian future but ended up as a grown man in a completely different world.
Against the backdrop of preserving a WWII Memorial, they collectively face the daunting challenges of transitioning from a socialist past to the complexities of capitalism. This intergenerational dialogue, bridging a half-century age gap, is the film’s emotional cornerstone. Misa and Zdenko, who once fought during the war, symbolize the enduring spirit of antifascism and the values that once shaped a “better future” in Europe. However, their mission goes beyond preserving a physical monument; it becomes a metaphorical exploration of Europe’s shifting ideological landscape. As they confront the echoes of far-right ideologies, the film highlights the complexities and tensions of this transitional period, raising profound questions about the direction in which society is headed.
“Goodbye Heroes” offers a thought-provoking and emotionally resonant journey through personal and colective history, memory, and the enduring bonds that can be forged between generations.