On Our Own Land Na svoji zemlji

France Štiglic / Slovenia / 1948 / 106 min / Slovene / 13+

Set in the Slovenian coastal region of Primorska during World War II, the film depicts the final years of the Liberation Struggle. After the capitulation of Italy, the region falls under German occupation. German officer Kutschera arrives at the valley of Baška grapa, determined to weed out the “bandits”. But the local population is on the side of the partisans. To the villagers the struggle is a chance to liberate themselves from foreign rule.

directed by France Štiglic , written by Ciril Kosmač (based on the novella Očka Orel), cinematography Ivan Marinček , editing Ivan Marinček, music Marijan Kozina, cast Lojze Potokar, Franc Presetnik, Mileva Zakrajšek, Štefka Drolc, Miro Kopač, Avgusta Danilova, Majda Potokar, Boris Sešek, Stane Sever, Metka Bučar, Jože Gale, film restored by Iridium Film for the Slovenian Film Centre

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Set in the Slovenian coastal region of Primorska during World War II, the film depicts the final years of the Liberation Struggle. After the capitulation of Italy, the region falls under German occupation. German officer Kutschera arrives at the valley of Baška grapa, determined to weed out the “bandits”. But the local population is on the side of the partisans. To the villagers the struggle is a chance to liberate themselves from foreign rule.

The epic war drama about Slovenia’s National Liberation Struggle directed by France Štiglic (The Valley of Peace) was the first Slovenian full-length sound feature film as well as the first Slovenian (Yugoslav) entry in the Official Selection of the Cannes Film Festival, where it was presented in competition in 1949.   

“What makes this film especially precious is the fact that it features practically no extras. The inhabitants of Baška grapa who occasionally represent the crowd are basically depicting themselves from a few years ago; they are not acting, but reliving. The partisan uniforms they wear when the village collectively decides to join the partisans are not costumes but actual uniforms, further intensifying the authenticity of what is shown. Several of the actors – along with the director – have only recently put down their arms and uniforms.”
- Rapa Šuklje, France Štiglic
 
On Our Own Land was certainly the first Slovenian sound film and the first Slovenian genuine feature film (a cinematic Trubar, a cinematic Linhart).”
- Marcel Štefančič, jr., Na svoji zemlji - Zgodovina slovenskega filma

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