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Interview with Boris Malagurski

Written by on May 6, 2018

Interview with Boris Malagurski

Boris Malagurski is an Serbian-Canadian documentary filmmaker, activist, and author.

Boris Malagurski’s work includes a broad range of work that spans narrative and documentary storytelling. Malagurski directed The Weight of Chains documentary, a film focused on the breakup of Yugoslavia. Malagurski plans to release third part of The Weight of Chains film series.

Here, in this exclusive interview, Boris Malagurski tells us more about his plans.

How did you discover your talent for film?

Malagurski: Well, I’ve been filming since I was eight years old. My parents bought a camcorder for the family and one day I decided to bring my friends over from school to shoot some scenes, re-enactments of scenes from my favourite films and television shows. By the time I started secondary school in Serbia, I was already organizing premieres for my films at school – the first was a documentary about my high school, the second was a comedy. Well, it wasn’t supposed to be a comedy, but people sure laughed a lot at the screening: Seeing their friends from school act on the big screen must’ve felt pretty odd. But then I moved to Vancouver and decided to film my last days in Serbia, my trip and my first days in Canada. Using that material, I edited together “The Canada Project”, a documentary about what it’s like for youths (I was 16 years old) to move to another continent. I sent it to the First Take International Film Festival in Toronto for fun. When I got a call from the festival organizer, asking me to come to Toronto, where I later won an award for my film, I realized that my work could be shown to greater audiences than to just friends and family.

Who were your biggest inspirations?

Malagurski: When it comes to documentaries, Michael Moore. I love his style, even though he and I differ on various political issues. His films inspired me to dig deeper and try to present stories from a different perspective, no matter how far it is from the mainstream. While I was living in Canada, my mother Slavica inspired me a lot – she moved with me and gave up her life in Serbia so that I may have a better one abroad. Her sacrifice taught me that life is not about what we do for ourselves, but what we do for others. My father Branislav is a great inspiration for me as well, a man who has worked hard all his life, had great success, but never at the cost of personal integrity. I’m married now and my wife Ivana inspires and motivates me every day, helping me with my work and every problem I encounter, but also to enjoy life and unwind after a stressful period of time.

What do you enjoy most about your job?

Malagurski: The freedom that comes with it. The way I make my films is different from how they’re made in the mainstream. Typically if you have an idea, you have to convince an influential financier to accept your idea and support you. This usually means that you have to settle for a lot of compromises, because he who gives the money, dictates how the story goes. With my films, I present my idea to the wider audience and call for donations and support. I don’t have to accept any ultimatums, people support the idea if they like it and I’m free to produce the films as I please. This allows me to have a high degree of independence and I can make sure that my films only present facts.

You’re currently working on the Weight of Chains Part 3. How important is this to you, personally?

Malagurski: It’s an important film because it deals with the Balkans. The film also deal with various other ecological disasters that have an impact on the region, and our unpreparedness to defend ourselves from them, as was the case during the 2014 mass flooding. Why do they matter to me personally? Well, I live here too, and so do all the people I care about. For more details, people have to see my Weight of Chains movies.

What sparked your interest in making Weight of Chains?

Malagurski: When I moved to Canada, many people were asking me where I’m from. When I told them “Serbia”, I was met with two types of responses: “Is that in Russia?” or “Isn’t there a war going on there?” Needless to say, both responses showed a misunderstanding of where Serbia is and what happened there in the not too distant past. If people were informed, they were usually misinformed actually. They heard about Milosevic, Kosovo, the bombing, but not many Westerners knew about the root causes of those conflicts. Some thought the Serbs were to blame for everything, which was a very simplistic and wrong way of looking at the issue. It’s what mainstream media told them to justify everything. I wanted to tell them the truth. So, instead of explaining everything to everyone I encounter, I decided to make a movie that explains everything regarding the Balkans. So that next time they say: “Isn’t there a war…”, I can interrupt them with: “Just watch this” and give them a DVD.

What was the production process for a Weight of Chains documentary like? How did it kind of evolve from start to finish?

Malagurski: When I started thinking about this film, I was around 19 years old. I had just completed a short documentary about human rights in Kosovo called “Kosovo: Can You Imagine?” and was thinking about how to raise money for “The Weight of Chains.” The Kosovo film didn’t cost much, but for “The Weight of Chains” I needed to travel quite a lot in order to film all the interviews I had in mind. Consider that back then there was no Kickstarter. I just had a website with a PayPal account through which people could send me donations. The problem was that nobody knew anything about me or my work. I started e-mailing various websites and organizations who might be willing to spread the word, in hopes of reaching potential donors. Eventually a man called Branislav Grbovic from Perth in Australia e-mailed me and promised to help fundraise for the film. Thanks to him, several fundraisers were organized across Australia and instead of the funds needed, we raised even over. I travelled across the US, Canada and the Balkans to film everything and finally completed the film in 2010. To be honest, I didn’t know what to expect when the filming started, but after I finished all the interviews, I realized that I had a story that no one had heard before. Thanks to Radio Television Serbia, I received amazing archival footage that assured that this film would have a highly professional tone. To thank the wonderful people from Australia who raised much of the film’s budget, the world premiere of the film was in Australia, starting with Perth.

Why do you think Weight of Chains has prompted such strong reactions from people?

Malagurski: Well, I think it’s because the injustice was so grave that people felt angered at the extent to which the lies went in the 1990s. It wasn’t just the Serbs who had emotional reactions to the film, in the sense that they finally saw something that didn’t paint them as demons, but rather showed the true economic and geopolitical causes behind the bloody Yugoslav wars, it was also Western audiences who felt strongly about the film.

Given the rather emotional content of the Weight of Chains subject matter, how did you aim to maintain objectivity?

Malagurski: The truth is actually a very emotional thing. Doesn’t it feel good to hear the truth, to know that you have the right knowledge regarding a certain matter? Don’t you feel angry when it’s proven that you were lied to? And when the tragic consequences of those lies are shown in plain sight, doesn’t it feel sad to look at that? Emotions can’t cloud the truth if they are drawn from factual evidence. Of course, these are very dangerous grounds, because emotions can be exploited by those who tell lies to sell hidden agendas. However, anyone who watches my films can fact check everything I say. I encourage them to do so. We can always disagree on various conclusions, but facts are what they are. I present them and they shock many, these are the emotions I’m going for, because they have the power to motivate people to further spread the truth and try to change things for the better.

What did you learn that shocked you the most?

Malagurski: What shocked me the most was just how open the Globalists were about their goals regarding Yugoslavia. I often talk about hidden agendas, but their agenda wasn’t really that hidden – it was just being hidden by mainstream media, whose job was supposed to be to present us with the truth.

Tell our readers a bit about the other films you’ve made.

Malagurski: In 2012, I made a film about a controversial court case in Serbia and in 2013, I finished my documentary about Belgrade, the capital of Serbia. Recently I finished my film tour of “Kosovo: A Moment In Civilization”, a short documentary about Serbia’s UNESCO heritage in Kosovo. Your readers might have heard about the destruction of civilizational heritage in Syria and Iraq by ISIS, they probably saw those gruesome images of ISIS extremists demolishing historic statues, but did they know that these things are happening in the heart of Europe? Since 1999, over 150 Christian churches and monasteries were destroyed by extremists in Kosovo. There is footage of a man risking his life to climb to the top of a church only to take down and destroy the cross, as the church is burning. Haven’t seen those images? That’s because the mainstream media doesn’t want you to see them, as it goes against their narrative. This is what my newest film talks about.

You’ve achieved a lot of stuff in your career but you definitely need something there to motivate you, is there a big goal that you are still striving for?

Malagurski: I’m very much motivated by injustice, so the topics that I’ll deal with in the future will certainly address major injustices in regards to various economic, social and political issues. However, I’d like to make feature fiction films one day as well, to address important issues in a different way – through drama. These types of films cost more and it would be difficult to finance them using the donation model, but we’ll see what the future brings. All I know is that I won’t stop my quest for the truth. I used to think that getting recognition from major festivals was very important, but now I’m more interested in getting recognition from my audience, normal people like you or me who like watching good films that present unfiltered facts. But I wouldn’t say no to an invitation to Cannes, of course.

Last question, what are you looking forward the most to besides films in 2018?

Malagurski: I’m always looking forward to the summer break, as it’s the one time during the year when I turn off my phone and cut myself off from everything that’s going on around the world for a week or two. The Adriatic Sea really is the best place to do that and I can’t wait to go back there this year as well. After two weeks of relaxing I’m already anxious to get back to work.

Thank you for the Interview.

www.weightofchains.ca
www.facebook.com/malagurski

 

 

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Reader's opinions
  1. Ari Arifi   On   April 26, 2018 at 5:42 pm

    My parents are Albanians from Kosovo who fled the war in the 90's, i always remember them talking good about the Socialist system with good healthcare, sports and infrastructure that we sometimes don't have here in Europe. I do agree with the fact that no country in the balkans gained independence except debt and that Europe is no good for our region, they use our region now as a export market with some food prices sometimes higher then EU!! We have to stop watching nationalistic agenda and rebuild a strong region like before, create agricultural region in Greece/Albania, technology in Serbia-Slovenia, use Montenegro and Croatia as tourism hubs etc, we have everything what it takes to be self sustainable but we chose to endebt ourselfs to other powers.

  2. Ed Chigliak   On   May 6, 2018 at 6:43 pm

    hahahahaha koja pizdarija, tipična četnička samozavaravajuća propaganda. nitko to ne puši, kompa moj.

  3. Fab Nineone   On   July 6, 2018 at 11:58 am

    As a neutral outsider without bias…it's just sad period. I don't even care who started what and why…millions of lives were destroyed and the effects are still felt today. where i live we have many former refugees and immigrants from those nations and their children some of which are born here. they are all traumatized and many struggle to fit in to normal life. i am sad its part of european history and of human history.

  4. Dan Pierce   On   July 6, 2018 at 12:29 pm

    Teodora Pucko to samo govori koliko je veliki primitivizam i koliko su ljudi naivni i glupi bili oduvek.

  5. niti sam prvi ni zadnji niti sam jedini   On   July 6, 2018 at 12:31 pm

    Prije svega ovoga napravljen je sramni memorandum a nakon njega došao je i još sramniji vožd Sloba Milošević koji je dao ubiti Ivana Stambolića. Đaba vam šuplja propaganda.

  6. Rhayader007   On   July 6, 2018 at 1:01 pm

    Propaganda video depicting the whole world against Serbia.. pffff Goebbels would've been proud – this kind of propaganda is even beyond him.
    I like how everyone was against the Yugoslavia, against Serbia. Funny how you forgot to mention how Belgrade supported terrorists in both Slovenia and Croatia to cause chaos to plunde, burn houses and kill people. Interesting. Your credibility in NON-EXISTING

  7. Ivan Orange Co. South California   On   July 6, 2018 at 2:12 pm

    Amerika i Europa su nas naguzile u prvom poluvremenu utakmice, samo tako, ali ista taktika kojom su nas rasturili ulazi im na zadnja vrata njihovih domova. Milionske mase već žive kao treća , četvrta i ko zna koja generacija jeftine radne snage u njihovim predgrađima, doseljenika iz ko zna kojih nesvrstanih bivših zemalja, ljudi koji se nisu nikada asimilirali u njihove demokratske tokove modernog društva . Pogledajmo teror koji vlada u Americii Europi, i stanje nije nikako na izlazu iz krize, već postaje sve dublje i dublje jer Europa ogrizla u svom bahatom ponašanju i ne vidi način da riješi problem, jer i nije više u stanju da ga riješi, jer samo recimo u Njemačkoj živi preko 7 milina ljudi porijeklom iz Turske, a gdje su sve ostale zemlje svijeta, a o Francuskoj i Engleskoj da i ne govorimo, koje su po raspadu svojih kolonija uvele radnu snagu iz tih zemalja. Jedva čekam početak drugog poluvremena . Ali dok se BRexit ne dogodi u cijeloj Europi, bojim se da taj zvižduk malo ne okasni.

  8. PcelaMaja   On   July 6, 2018 at 2:25 pm

    Šta je bilo bilo je. Srbi,Hrvati,Muslimani narod koji je prošao razne sudbine i koji žive na ovim prostorima 500 godina, ali što je najvažnije da se više nepuca i da je mir !!!

  9. Nurikic Edi   On   July 6, 2018 at 2:54 pm

    Cist SRPSKI propaganda-materijal…nekako sam mogao gledat sve do onog momenta kad se pokusava izjednacit Srebrenica sa nekim srpskim okolnim selima , hmmm msm aloooooooo debili …. sta rec koju posluku porati…jadan pokusaj IZJEDNACAVANJA ZRTAVA po koji put…eeee moj Borise Malagurski i Seselj ne bi bolje ….dokle vise kako vas nije sramota u pm.
    I Crveni Kmeri mogu vam pozavidjet…
    PS.
    Ima dobrih srba zaista…al Bogami sto ih ima smradova…morate ih se rijesit podhitno inace nakon Slovenije,Hrvatske,Bosne, Makedonije,Crne Gore,Kosova ode i Vojvodina…jbg niko nece s vama izgleda…

  10. TRANCEMAXXX   On   July 6, 2018 at 3:03 pm

    hahahahahaha da ga jebeš ovo je bolja komedija od Monty Phytona….hahahahahaha Vi srbi uvijek započnete neka sranja, pa kad popušite kurčinu, onda pravite filmove i bajke za djecu… Kako vas nije sram, imali ste cijelo jebeno naoružanje od bivše JNA, dovoljno za 20 godina ratovanja, a prikazujete se kao žrtve??? Na Vukovar ste ispalili projektila u ekvivalentu hirošimske bombe i još pričate kako hrvati ubijaju srbe u Vukovaru??? Zgutali ste kurčinu do jaja i onda priznajte poraz kao ljudi i ne serite više…

  11. MISOKALAS   On   July 6, 2018 at 3:37 pm

    A ova govna iz G 17 Dinkic,Labus DJelic i ostala govna treba da vise na Terazijama…. mamu im lopovsku proamericku..

  12. N Simic   On   July 6, 2018 at 4:29 pm

    zaboravijo si logore u sbiji navest i sluzenje srbije hitleru sve do 1944, a i cetnicko sluzenje ustasama i SS nisi naveo …srbijanska posla laganja samih sebe, dok drugi gube glave i placaju ceh za vase pljacke i kradje po celoj jugoslaviji

  13. chickendinner2012   On   July 6, 2018 at 5:05 pm

    Really great documentary, I learned a lot about that horrible war. 99% vs the 1% the Warmongers want to destroy the world for their own profit.

  14. Dorian Scholz   On   July 6, 2018 at 5:11 pm

    Amerika prlja ruke u svim ratovima od pocetka 20. st., to je neosporno, a sto se tice samih ratova uoci raspada jugoslavije, zna se tko je agresor, a tko se branio i tu staje svaka prica o tome kako su Srbi "najveca zrtva" krvavih ratova 90ih sto se u ovom dokumentarcu pokusava pokazati na klasicni srpski nacin – nazivajuci vecinu hrvata ustasama uvelicavajuci i izmisljajuci zlocine hrvatske vojske tijekom Domovinskog rata a pritom da se ne spomene Ovcara, Dalj, Lusac, Tovarnik i jos bezbroj srpskih zlocina pocinjenih na podrucju vec tada legitimne Republike Hrvatske i naprimjer ne spominjajuci protjerane Hrvate iz Vojvodine tijekom rata, ima unesrecenih sa svih strana, ali zna se tko je presao granicu i tko je ubijao po susjednim zemljama…

  15. Gmod2012lo1   On   July 6, 2018 at 5:42 pm

    All of you brainwashed croats are morons down in the comments.. you say this is serbian propaganda.. is this all you can??.. dont you see everyone got played out by the west so they could steal our resources and take down our economy?? how can you still live in ww2? You have nothing left.. your money is printed in germany.. Is maybe your muli-billion debt also serbias fault??? And how are serbians bad guys, when you started discriminating them in croatia? while no croats, muslims were threatened in Serbia? wow hows that? morons just go back and enjoy that sea that you have, danke deutschland!

  16. Davor C   On   July 6, 2018 at 6:00 pm

    Početak je dobar, ali kasnije se gubi objektivnost, šteta. Pozdrav svim Južnim slavenima.
    Nadajmo se da će buduće generacije biti pametnije!!

  17. CrnaStrana Mjeseca   On   July 6, 2018 at 6:10 pm

    Ne zelim uopce citati komentare jer mi je dosta nacionalizma nabijem sve nacionaliste na kitu!
    Ako niste iz ovoga shvatili koliko si nam stete mirovnjaci nanijeli i koju nepravdu su ucinili svakome od nas onda nismo bolje ni zasluzili nego da nam se upravlja iz vana!!

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