The Battlefield of Simeun đak

TV Film Based on the fiction of Petar Kočić

Directed by Petar Zec
Production: Independent radio and TV station Banja Luka
July-October 1999


The battlefield of Simeun Đak

A note on the director Petar Zec


Petar Kočić (1879-1896), the tribune of the people, the writer and the rebel served his people and homeland by his harmonious artistic and political work. He was the first among "the poor enriched with pride" (the words of Ivo Andrić) who was involved in modern European way of living.

Petar Kočić was the first writer who introduced the character of the peasant from Krajina (the border area of B&H) in Serbian and European literature. The power of his narration promoted the unique characters of boastful fighter Simeun Đak and humorous David Štrbac. Simeun's mystic violent spirit transforms the lie into the truth, while witty David makes fun of him in the way typical for the people of that region. That makes them Don Quijote and Sancho Pansa from Krajina. The characters of sensual and passionate Mrguda, gentle and humble Tuba, wretched misanthrope priest from Mračaj who is deeply conflicted with the outside world and himself, are also unforgettable.

The narration gift of Kočić has a dramatic essence. His gift can be clearly observed in original characters, vivid dialogues, concise scenery, atmosphere of mixed tragedy and comedy, picturesque landscape and fascinating songs. Kočić's classical prose is universal. It goes beyond local, traditional customs of the region affirming general, human, poetic issues.

I have used the cycle of Kočić's short stories about Simeun Đak (Serbian counterpart of baron Minchausen) as a base for my screenplay of this TV film, including as well other short stories: "The priest of Mračaj", "Mrguda", "Tuba", "Through the Mist", "Jablan". People are gathered around a plum-brandy boiler near Gomionica monastery, listening to the boastful stories of peacemaker Simeun Đak about his accomplishments.

Within a time, the listeners are getting more interested in these unimaginable events created in the flights of imagination of this story-teller and patriot. The peasants can understand why he is lying excepting him as a fighter as avenger of wretched people. At the same time the events around the brandy boiler are taking place we witness two unfortunate love stories: Tuba and Blagoja's and Mrguda and Mika's. Both stories are filled with true lyricism and they remain unfulfilled dreams of the youth.

"Is it a drinking-bout or a religious act? Is it a theatre or evening gathering of wretched people? Have they gathered to keep an eye on their brandy or to preserve the national spirit? A bit of everything and makes it our history and our truth." (Isidora Sekulić)

TV film "The battlefield of Simeun Đak" is an attempt to bring to life destinies of Kočić's characters both the individuals and the communities. Kočić's artistic work powerfully represents inner drama and temperament of the people from Krajina.



Scenarist and director: Petar Zec

Independent radio and TV station Banja Luka in production of Zoran Kalinić

presents Slobodan Ćustić

in the film of Petar Zec

The battlefield of Simeun Đak


Aleksandar Berček

Danilo Lazović

Tihomir Stanić

Željko Stjepanović

Nebojša Zubović

Đorđe Marković

Nikolina Jelisavac

Sagor Mešković

Ružica Sokić

Ivan Bekjarev

Željka Raković

Aleksandar Blanić

based on the short stories of Petar Kočić


Petar Zec


Snežana Simić


Danijela Lutovac


Petar Zec


Jelena Đokić

Director of photography

Veselko Krčmar

Film manager

Ljuba Đorđević


Petar Zec

Also staring

Zoran Stanišić

Boško Đurđević

Dobrica Agatonović

Goran Jokić

Dragoslav Medojević

Ljiljana Cekić

Tomo Jović

Danilo Popržen

Slađana Zrnić

Boris Šavija

Daniel Kovačević

Dragan Banjac

Danica Todorović

Božana Đajić

Duško Mazalica

Slobodan Perišić

Ljubiša Savanović

Jelena Zec

Željka Trošelj

Vanja Banjac

Irena Bukvić

Ana Đokić


Set organizer

Dušan Amidžić

Set unit manager

Rodoljub Đoković Žuća

Crew secretary

Jadranka Bogojević


Vojkan Gostiljac

Camera assistent

Nebojša Kostrešević

Camera technician

Nenad Tomić

Light crew manager

Dušan Krčmarov

Light assistents

Dragan Adamović


Miomir Jakovljević

Light technicians

Žarko Božić


Mladen Vasilić


Drago Vejnović

Sound recording

Dragoslav Simić


Igor Kašiković

Musical assistent

Aleksandar Jeremić

Musical editor

Radmila Trifunović

Sound editor

Ljubiša Špegar

Wardrobe assistents

Dragica Valan


Gordana Topić


Ljubica Nesvanulica


Radmila Kukolj


Dragica Brković

Pyrotechnics and arms property men

Miloš Vuković

Igor Damjanović

Slobodanka Lalić

Slađana Duvnjak

Goran Jorgić

Extra unit manager

Aleksandar Bodroža

Expert consultant

Luka Medar

Assistent to the actors

Miloš Bojinović

Language instructor

Milorad Telebak

Script girl

Nataša Radić

Chief assistent director

Dragoljub Milić

Assistent director

Branislav Stevović


Petar Zec

A note on the director Petar Zec

He completed elementary and grammar school in Banja Luka and Sremska Mitrovica. He took a bachelor's degree in theatre, film and TV direction at the Faculty of Dramatic Arts in Belgrade. He also holds a bachelor's degree from Belgrade's Faculty of Philology. A thesis entitled "The Dramatic in the Works of Ivo Andrić - Andrić, a Concealed Dramatist" brought him a PhD from the Faculty of Philology. He is the founder of the "Courtyard Theatre" where he works as a director.

He wrote several expert works in this field, publications and books: "Andrić's Theatre of Shadows", Rad Publishing House - Belgrade and "How I Directed the Hell", Prosveta Publishing House - Belgrade.

He directed nearly hundred theatre and TV projects that were awarded by the highest Yugoslav and world awards.

He teaches at the Academy of Fine Arts in Belgrade, at the Faculty of Arts in Priština and Academy of Arts Banja Luka.

He is a member of Dramatic Artists Association of Serbia and Writers Society of Serbia.

He lives and works in Belgrade as a distinguished dramatic artist.

Projekat Rastko / Project Rastko Ars Libri TIA Janus Sadrzaj / Content