St. George Shoots the Dragon(2009)
Director: Srdjan Dragojević
Country: Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria
Runtime: 120 min
The movie starts with a battle against the Turks during the First Balkan War in 1912 and ends with the outbreak of World War I in 1914 and the crucial Battle of Cer, the first allied victory in WW1. It is largely set in and around a small village by the Sava river at Serbia's border with Austria-Hungary.
The village is divided between able-bodied men that are potential army recruits and the many invalid veterans from the previous Balkan wars, and there is bitter animosity between the two groups, which don't intermingle much with each other even though they live in the same village.
The central theme of the movie is a love triangle between the village gendarme Đorđe, his wife Katarina and the young war cripple Gavrilo who once had a love affair with Katarina before he went to war and lost his arm in battle, and with the arm partly also his lust for life. Even though Katarina in the meantime married Đorđe, she still has affection for Gavrilo, which is a source of friction between them two.
On the onset of World War I, all able-bodied men in the village are recruited for combat. Left in the village are only women, children and invalids from previous Balkan wars. Rumours start circulating that the invalids in the village are trying to take advantage of the situation by making their moves on the women in the village - the wives and sisters of the recruited men. These rumours reach the villagers at the frontlines, and in order to prevent mutiny the army staff decides to recruit the invalids as well and send them to the front line.
St. George Shoots the Dragon (Serbian Свети Георгије убива аждаху) is an Serbian WW1 war drama. The movie premiere was slated for March 11, 2009. The movie's director is Srđan Dragojević and the screenplay writer is Dušan Kovačević. With a budget of around €5 million, it was one of the most expensive Serbian movie productions to date. Some of the funds have been donated by the governments of Serbia (€1.55 million) and Republika Srpska (€750,000) who deemed the movie to be of national importance. Kovačević script had already been made into a theater play that was staged to great success in Belgrade's Atelje 212 and Novi Sad's Serbian National Theatre.