Slovenian film adores Ljubljana and Ljubljana naturally returns this adoration. The feeling of love is mutual. We selected five very well-known film highlights of the city’s tapestry and its people; five films that depict Ljubljana in very different lights.
Fužine, the district that is home to many blocks of flats on the edge of the city, is the main protagonist of the film Čefurji raus!, which was shot in 2013 by Goran Vojnović based on his novel. Fužine is Ljubljana’s ghetto, a migrant neighbourhood of the proletariat, an enormous urban anthill, where a young man who plays basketball grows up and gradually descends into vandalism and petty crime with his group of friends. In this film, Fužine is depicted as a diverse multicultural environment that is located on the edge of the city and also on the edge of society.
In the film Sreča na vrvici, filmed in 1977 and directed by Jane Kavčič, Ljubljana plays the role of a concrete jungle where there is no room for child’s play or a dog. Today this film is a pleasant throwback to life in socialism and to its aesthetic, which is also expressed in the monstrous estate of blocks of flats that does not lack in people and excitement.
Šiška Deluxe is a comedy by Jan Cvitkovič from 2015. It follows the story of three friends and their business endeavours after they decide to open a pizzeria called Šiška. In the film, Šiška is depicted as an urban, densely-packed neighbourhood of high-rise flats covered in graffiti colourful and fun; the perfect backdrop for a comedy that also features some serious moments.
The film Vesna by František Čap from 1953 was created right in the midst of the socialist era, but it seems as though it was filmed somewhere entirely different. In it, Ljubljana appears to be charming, urbanite, romantic, almost like Prague, which Čap supposedly missed dearly. In this metropolitan scene, the humorous story of high-school students looking for a shortcut to graduation unfolds, in the process of which they fall in love and learn a thing or two about life.
The film Jebiga from 2000 is about sleepy Ljubljana and about a group of young guys who are “spending their summer in the city in search of money, alcohol, drugs, love and sex”. A large part of the film takes place in a bar called Žmauc, and also on terraces, on Plečnik’s Trnovo embankment and elsewhere. “Silence, we’re resting!” shouts one of the characters at the church bells, which begin ringing just when the gang are relaxing and doing nothing. It is a film about Ljubljana when everyone is at the seaside, when the city is a ghost town, when life is slow and boring. In recent years, Ljubljana summers are no longer like that, instead it is occupied by the many tourists (with the exception of the year of corona).