One Woman, One Century is a documentary film based on statements, interviews, and reconstructions of real-life events. The life story of Dragica Srzentić casts light on a number of events and people relevant to Yugoslav history before and after the Second World War. The film’s look at the century-long life of this woman-hero provides insight into the rarely mentioned segments of the ex-Yugoslav intellectual and ideological maze that traverses all the states in which this Istrian-born woman lived (Austria-Hungary, Kingdom of Italy, Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes, NDH, FNRJ, SFRJ, Croatia, and Serbia).
In view of Srzentić’s experiences as a member of the Yugoslav partisans resistance during the Nazi occupation, the phrase “One Woman - One Century” is more than a comment on her own longevity. Rather, her personal account is inseparable from the turbulent history of Eastern Europe during the Second World War and its aftermath. The documentary’s subject went underground, fled, was arrested and tortured, and cheated death more than once. Yet her words resonate with humor and dignity rather than anger or sadness. Žilnik gives Srzentić’s stories ample time, supplementing them with footage of her journey to a parade in Moscow and inserting animated sequences that underscore her achievements.
The film was so well received that a local TV broadcaster commissioned an extended series, which was produced in three episodes and includes longer excerpts of Srzentić’s interview. One Woman, One Century is considered a strong defense against the falsification of historical facts around the partisans struggle, which is a mainstream tendency in post-socialist states.
Written and directed by: Želimir Žilnik
Camera: Miodrag Milošević
Edited by: Vuk Vukmirović
Animation: Aleksandar Rot, Aleksandar Ilić
Sound design: Filip Vlatković
Producer: Sarita Matijević
With: Dragica Vitolović Srzentić, Ljiljana Đakonović, Dražen Vitolović, Dario Vitolović, Ondina Vitolović, Davor Lukas, Đulijano Vivoda, Marsel Žigante, Ines Akvavita, Ivanka Bošnjak, Josip Petranović
Production: Playground produkcija, Novi Sad