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Aleksander Petrović

Aleksander Petrović was born 14 January 1929 and was the first Yugoslavia film director to attain an international reputation as he revolutionized the production of film in his country.

Before the first film by Petrović, Where Love Has Gone, in 1961, Yugoslavian films were almost entirely partisan films about the Second World War. His next film, Tri established an international reputation and set a standard for the new wave of film in Yugoslavia.

The film Tri was released in 1965 and was made up of three shorter films with the same main character throughout. The stories are set during World War II. The first stories have the main character as an observer in the earlier stages of the war. The second section has the character as a soldier who is being pursued with another soldier by the Germans. In this section unique aerial shots are used. The final part of the film covers the final stages of the war and the main character is again an observer. It shows not only the cruelty of the Germans but also the killing of a collaborator, and it brings a new point of view that all participants in war carry out violent and unjust acts.

The third film that was released to international acclaim was I Even Met Some Happy Gypsies, which was produced in 1967. The film presented the life of a Gypsy, who was a goose feather trader, and a rival. The relationship between the rivals was complicated by a girl and results in a murder. The film was innovative as it does not have a clear story line and because the audience has to piece the story together themselves. The narrative had the additional complications of the Gypsy community not co-operating with the police to find the murderer.

Aleksander Petrović died on the 20 August 1994 at the age of sixty-five.

Ibrahim Rugova

Ibrahim Rugova was born on 2 December 1944. He is an ethnic Albanian. During the Second World War, both his father and grandfather were executed by the Yugoslav Communists.

Rugova became a well-known writer and was one of the founders of the Democratic League of Kosovo that came into being during the war. He became the leader of the Democratic League of Kosovo. He called for peaceful means of resistance to Slobodan Milosevic’s cancellation of Kosovo’s autonomy in 1989. He had a leading part in the drive toward a declaration of independence of Kosovo by Ethnic Albanian, which was declared illegal and was not recognised by Serbia. This unofficial government was led by Rugova. It offered services like education, and health care was provided by Albanians.

In 1999, Rugova was shown on television negotiating with Slobodan Milosevic. On 4 March 2002, he was elected the President of Kosovo. He survived an attempted assassination on 15 March 2005 when a bomb exploded as his car passed a bin at the side of the road. On 5 September 2005, Rugova announced that he had lung cancer and would resign his post as president.

Josip Broz Tito

The future leader of Yugoslavia, Josip Broz Tito led the Communist, Partisan Movement to oppose the Ustasha regime, declaring that they were the government of Yugoslavia in November 1943.

Josip Broz Tito was born in 7 May 1892, in Kumrovec, northwestern Croatia. His father was Franjo Broz, a Croat and a Slovenian mother, Marija. Broz began work as a locksmith in 1907 in Sisak. Tito joined the union of metallurgy workers and the Social Democratic Party of Croatia and Slovenia in 1910.

Late in 1913, Tito was conscripted into the Austro-Hungarian Army, but in 1914 he was imprisoned for anti-war propaganda at the Petrovaradin fortress. Things changed as he was sent to the Eastern Front to fight the Russians in 1915, but he was seriously injured in Bukovina. By April, his battalion was captured by the Russians. After his recovery from his wounds Broz was sent to a work camp in the Ural Mountains in 1916 where he was arrested for organizing prisoners to demonstrate in April 1917. In the summer of 1917, Broz participated in demonstrations in Saint Petersburg, but had to flee to Finland to avoid the police, but was arrested and sent to the Petropavlovsk fortress. After being moved to Kungur, he escaped. In November, he enlisted in the Red Army and applied to be a member of the Russian Communist Party.

Broz became a member of the Communist Party of Yugoslavia in 1920, but it was soon outlawed. Broz took the code name Tito and became a member of the Political Bureau of the Central Committee that was located in Vienna, Austria. Tito was sent back to Yugoslavia to purge and reorganize the Communist Party there. By 1937, Tito became the secretary general of the Yugoslav Communist Party.

In April 1941, the Axis forces invaded Yugoslavia, and the Communists were the first to organize against them with Tito leading the effort. The Anti-Fascist Council of National Liberation of Yugoslavia met in Bihać on 26 November 1942 and later on 29 November 1943 where they established a blueprint for post war Yugoslavia making Tito the leader. Small areas were liberated of German occupation became the centres of resistance and on 4 December 1943 Tito proclaimed that there was a provisional democratic government in Yugoslavia.

Tito’s resistance movement gained support from the Allies after the conferences in Tehran and Yalta in 1943. Then on 5 April 1943, Tito allowed troops from the USSR to enter and help the resistance, bringing the liberation of Yugoslavia from the Axis occupation.

All foreign troops left Yugoslavia and the elections of November 1945 Tito was Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs. In 1948, Tito received significant international recognition when he refused to follow Stalin’s leadership and a break occurred between Russia and Yugoslavia.

Through the decades of Tito’s rule, reforms were introduced to consolidate the central power of the Communist Party, assassinations, and the imprisonment of opponents kept Tito in power until he passed away in 1980.

Mila Mulroney

Mila Mulroney was born 15 July 1953, named Mila Pivnicki, in Sarajevo, Yugoslavia and is the wife of Canada’s 18th Prime Minister, Brian Mulroney. She moved to Canada with her family in 1958 and settled in Montreal, Quebec. Her father attended graduate studies at McGill University in psychiatry.

Mila Pivnicki attended Concordia University and studied engineering but did not graduate. She married Brian Mulroney at the age of 19, who was a lawyer, on 26 May 1973.

Together Mila and Brian Mulroney have one daughter and three sons, Caroline, Benedict, Mark, and Nicolas.

After Brian Mulroney became Prime Minister, Mila was active working as a campaigner for a number of children’s charities. Mila is currently the director of the Canadian Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.

Milena Dravić

Milena Dravić is a Yugoslav actress born on 5 October 1940. While in High School in 1959, the director František Čap gave her a role in the film, Vrata ostaju otvorena. With this early success she enrolled in the Drama Arts Academy in Belgrade to pursue a career in acting.

Dravić took another major step up in her career in 1962 when she won a Golden Arena, which was the former Yugoslavia’s equivalent to an Academy Award. She won the Golden Arena for her role in the film, Prekobrojna, directed by Branko Bauer. After this award she was considered the most important actress in Yugoslavia.

Milena Dravić continued to have many roles, from tragic heroine to eccentric protagonist cast in experimental films. Critics point to her roles of the later 1970s and the 1980s as her best work. In 1994, she received the "Pavle Vujisić," a prestigious award for her work in domestic films.

Dravić was married three times and is currently married to Dragan Nikolić, with whom she was co-host in the 1970s on the television show Obraz uz obraz.

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