The First Trimester of Pavle Hromiš

Technical data
85 min, 16mm, color

In this documentary, fifteen-year-old Pavle Hromiš, obeying the will of his parents, leaves Germany and goes to live in Yugoslavia with his grandmother in the village of Kucura. He attends secondary school and lives in a boarding house where he meets new friends, but has problems with the language and different school curriculum. He wants to go back to Germany, and gets involved in many discussions about that. 

Žilnik’s interest in children going off to school in different cities and living away from their families was personal, because his aunt, who raised him, was the director of a big boarding house in Novi Sad. When Žilnik started researching the pupils who would appear in his documentary, he was surprised to find many couldn’t speak the Serbian language well, and were lost between two identities. Because this documentary, produced by Novi Sad Television, was so well received, the Belgrade-based production company Art Film 80 asked Žilnik to make a docudrama based on it. He shot 30 percent more material, and the following year completed the movie The Second Generation, following the same plot. It was also highly successful and was broadcast on many public TV stations in Poland, Hungary, Czechoslovakia, and elsewhere. For this film, as with many others, Žilnik renounced his director’s fee and instead agreed to a percentage from the sale of the film rights.


Directed by: Želimir Žilnik
Written by: Želimir Žilnik, Miroslav Mandić
Camera: Ljubomir Bečejski
Sound: Karoly Stanyo
Edited by: Slobodan Jandrić

Cast: Vladimir Sinko, Petar Bosančić, Dragan Sokoljanski, Sanja Zlatković

Production: TV Novi Sad

Photographs from the film