Global Lens Film Series: 'The Parade'
Directed by Srđjan Dragojević. Serbia, 2011, 115 mins. In Serbo-Croatian with English subtitles.
A small group of gay activists in Belgrade strike an uneasy alliance with a war-hardened Serbian crime boss whose fiancée demands an extravagant wedding only gay theater director Mirko and friends can provide. In exchange, macho Limun reluctantly agrees to provide security for their planned Pride parade. It’s a tall order: Previous attempts to march were met with mass violence from right-wing skinheads who vow to be there again.
When Limun’s gang baulk at the assignment, he travels back into onetime enemy territory to recruit a band of former combatants, now dear friends, who will stand up to the hordes of racists on Pride day, Seven Samurai–style. Inspired by Belgrade’s tense 2010 Pride parade, and set shrewdly against the lingering xenophobia of the 1990s Balkan War, writer-director Srđjan Dragojević’s surprisingly hilarious, deeply humane comedy — a Serbian box office smash — proves a rollicking yet poignant take on a vital human rights issue.