Nikola Ilić
Switzerland | 2024 | 19 min
World premiere
Language : Serbian
Subtitles : English, French

This film is shaped by archival images: some intimate, captured by amateur camcorders, others anonymous, taken from surveillance cameras. The filmmaker (Dida, VdR 2021) makes them all his own, changing the tones of their colours, using them as a backdrop to narrate his biography as a pacifist enlisted to fight in the Balkan wars at the end of the 1990s.

This is a haptic film with a peculiar materiality, and composed mainly of archival footage. Some of this is personal, captured by amateur camcorders during metal concerts, and some anonymous, taken from surveillance cameras in a psychiatric hospital. The filmmaker makes all these images his own, modifying the colour tones in post-production and using them as a backdrop to narrate his biography as a pacifist who was conscripted in the Balkan wars in the late 1990s, and feigned madness to avoid combat. As in Mountains May Depart (2015) by Jia Zhang-Ke, the Festival’s 2024 Guest of Honour, historical periods are evoked not only based on their content and by what they show, but also through their forms and intrinsic qualities. In Exit Through the Cuckoo’s Nest, the contemporary and the remnants of a past political regime are reflected in an immaculate high-definition image. No detail is missed, and yet the image's digital nature seems to compromise its effort to invoke history and its materiality.
Dimitri De Preux
Exit Through the Cuckoo's Nest, 2024
Dida, 2021
Rakijada, 2016
Just Another Day in Egypt, 2015
KOD ĆOŠKa (Down on the Corner), 2013
Kanton Jugoslawien, 2013


Nikola Ilić
Nikola IlićCorina Schwingruber Ilić
Nikola IlićCorina Schwingruber Ilić
Corina Schwingruber Ilić
Jan GoddeAleksander Rančić
Laurin MerzHook Film&Kultur Produktion GmbH
Sales contact
Merz LaurinHOOK

International Medium Length & Short Film Competition

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