Marble Ass

Marble Ass

classified 18 S

Queer Cinema From the Eastern Bloc


Sat 27 July 21:00

Cinema 3, Watershed

Želimir Žilnik
Aleksandar Brujić, Vjeran Miladinović, Milja Milenković
87 mins, Subtitled, 1995, FR Yugoslavia
Primary language

Imagine John Waters touching down in mid-90s Belgrade, a city beset by international economic sanctions, criminality, and violent ethno-nationalism, and concocting a comedic docu-fiction with the city’s LGBTQ+ community - exposing the prevailing toxic masculinity of the world around them.

Marble Ass tells the story of Merlinka (Vjeran Miladinović), a local trans sex worker whose weapons aren’t guns and knives, but sex and love. She acts as a local matriarch, spreading her teachings to younger sisters - many of whom were drawn from the trans and queer community of Belgrade, playing fictionalised versions of themselves.

A veteran of the radical Yugoslav Black Wave of the 1960s and still working today, director Želimir Žilnik won the Teddy Award at the Berlinale for Marble Ass, the first film from the former Yugoslavia to openly depict LGBT+ characters. This remains one of his most enduring works, even more brilliant for its open acts of love and positivity at a time of such misery.

With an introduction by season co-curator Fedor Tot.

Please Note: This film contains scenes of animal slaughter.

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