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ISSN 1409-6900 | UDK 82+7     Blesok no. 08 | volume II | April-May, 1999



                     Peer-reviewed journal
Blesok no. 08April-May, 1999

The Balkans For Children

p. 1
Blaže Minevski

    The arrival of “The Balkans” cinema in Bobovo was greeted by everyone as a great event. The children took baths as early as dawn, the donkeys were penned so as not to bray during the climax, and the yard and streets around the house of culture “Ano Balabanov” were sprinkled with spring water. Almost a whole hour before the beginning of the show the people gathered quietly in the yard in front of the building, carrying all kinds of chairs, benches and cushions. The hall where the film was shown was vacant, which was why everyone had to bring something upon which to sit during the screening. As soon as they entered, those with small chairs sat in front, while the others, according to height, arranged themselves from the stage to the entrance, and often even beyond the door, to the porch. From there one could see only a piece of the screen, but even that was enough to get the message.
    The films that came to Bobovo most often were very old, abridged, scorched and melted, and the captions, during almost the entire show, walked across the screen and across the wall, and the people had to search for the words even on the ceiling. Before midnight they all silently returned home, but the chairs banged for a long time into the night against the fences, the dark gates and the lanes. The people returned to reality, though even in darkness, many of them, lying on their backs, turned their heads searching for the captions that ran across the walls.
    Those were the so-called usual features. However, there were also special features. Once a month “The Balkans” cinema came unannounced, exclusively because of the effort and wish of Nono Besonov, the old projectionist and drunkard. He arrived at dawn, and as soon as he did so, chocked the wheels of his jeep with stones and immediately hung upon it a cardboard sign saying: “The Balkans – For Children.” In other words, it meant that the film was exclusively for children, only children. Later I learned that he did it only so that he could drink freely and fling the bottles around the hall. He could even sleep if he wanted to. He could also mix up the reels if he wanted to. The children always had fun, even when instead of a film they saw only their own hands and ears

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