Malj (The Mallet)
Yugoslavia 1977, 11 minutes
Black chicks fatten up slower than other chicks, so in the food industry they are eliminated at the start of the process. And if one does manage to hatch and reach the conveyor belt where chicks are selected, it ends up in the dumpster – under the mallet, along with other rejected chics. Aleksandar Ilić’s short film, which was repeatedly broadcasted on Yugoslavian TV, is an excellent futuristic allegory of discrimination and segregation based on biological characteristics. But it also presents the harsh truth of what happens in industrialised farming to this day.
Aleksandar Ilić― Artist
Aleksandar Ilić (Serbia) was a Yugoslav writer, editor and director. He was one of the most important filmmakers in former Yugoslavia and modern Serbia, primarily of documentaries and of popular science films. Illic died in 2012 at 85 years of age. In 1945, following the Second World War and his imprisonment in a German camp, he started working at the film company Zvezda and was one of the first students at Belgrade film school, where he opted for training for the creative job of editing. After completing his military service at the newly formed military film company Zastava, he continued working there as an editor there for several years. He then went on to take up positions at Hunting Forest Farm Jelen, Dunav Film, Television Belgrade and Yugoslavia Publicity Company. His vast body of work comprises more than 500 films that he either edited or also authored, directed and sound-designed. Most of Ilic’s films employ metaphors involving animals and their survival to speak about humans and our relations with each other and nature. In short they are fables on film. They include the masterpieces Ice (Led), Owl (Sova) and Mallet (Malj). He was widely recognised for his creativity and won domestic and international awards, including the City of Belgrade’s October Award, the UFUS Charter for contribution to Serbian cinematography and a Silver Bear at the Berlin Film Festival, as well as recognition for his outstanding contribution to the national culture of the Republic of Serbia.