"The Master and Margaret"
Directed by Aleksandar Petrovic
Mikhail Bulgakov's literary masterpiece is given a sharp political treatment
by Aleksandar Petrovic, an important filmmaker of '60s and '70s Yugoslavian
cinema who has been neglected by contemporary film scholars. Ugo Tognazzi
stars as a brilliant playwright who discovers one of his supporters is
actually the Devil, only to be committed to an insane asylum when he tries
to warn people. The film was clearly intended as a metaphor for the
persecution of artists under communism, something that was not lost on
government officials, who attacked the movie and later forced Petrovic to
leave his job at the Belgrade Film Academy, virtually ending his directing
career. Also starring Mimsy Farmer and Alain Cuny. Italian with English
subtitles. 98 minutes.