Monday, August 20, 2018


To this very date it remains one of the most tragic examples of sacrifice, suffering and heroism. Serbia is marking the hundred years since the end of
The movie arrives to cinemas this November
the World War I with epic war drama KING PETAR I which describes the exodus of Serbian army in 1915, after German, Austro Hungarian and Bulgarian armies invaded the kingdom from all sides following Serbia's heroic efforts to stop the enemy in successful battles at Cer and Kolubara which were some of the first major battles of WW1 but have cost Serbia around 170,000 people even before the exodus. The Serbian army, lead by Serbian King Petar I, retreated through the frozen mountains of Albania in order to save its remains. During the long march, some 240,000 retreating Serbs died from the cold, starvation, disease and combat with Albanian tribesmen. The survivors who managed to get to the Greek island of Corfu,
The movie will be turned into a ten part series by Serbian National TV
either died there from weakness, hunger, wounds and illnesses, (which is why Serbs call the sea around the island the Blue Tomb as the island is small and the dead had to be thrown into the sea, thousands of them) or moved to the Greek front where they will join the fights again.

The subplot of the film will see a Serbian mother asking the king to take warm socks she knitted to her young son who is lost somewhere among hundreds of thousands of retreating soldiers. The king finds him too late, already frozen
The movie is based on Milovan Vitezovic's book King Peter's Socks
somewhere along the way but will ask to be buried in those very socks years later after his own death. The boy's mother died along the way broken hearted over the corpse of a young Austrian enemy soldier while crying the tears in the
The soldiers included kids and young boys too defending their country
name of all the mothers in the world and their sons - the innocent victims of wars. Serbian losses are among the highest per capita of any country involved in the war as they lost about one million people (half of all their people) only
Lazar Ristovski toplines, produces and directs the film himself
to lose another half more during WW2. Check out the moving teaser below for the movie which hits Serbian cinemas November and will be turned into a ten part mini series later in 2019! 'My soldier' is what the king says to the kid in the end of the clip.


  1. Replies
    1. Some of the countries, like mine, are still paying it innocently.

  2. Replies
    1. I expect it will be the pinnacle of our movie making here in last few decades.

  3. How very interesting and moving!
    Strong profile photo of King Petar1!
    To paraphrase Churchill - so many (nations) against so few(Serbia)!

    As for the teaser I have no words, only tears. I'll ,however, say this: the landscape of frozen mountains, the witness to the war atrocities, is sure haunting!

    1. I think the actor, Lazar Ristovski, was waiting his whole life to become older so that he could play this role.
      Yes, we were literally surrounded from all sides in both WWs as all of our neighbours were on the side of Nazis in both wars.
      Imagine them travelling those mountains in the clothes of that time, ill, wounded, poor, exhausted, in the middle of winter, and then even if they survived, most of them ended up in hospitals around Europe, dead or back to break the front in Greece.

  4. A single life lost in war is far too many. It’s truly depressing how many lives lost Serbia has seen. This will be an epic series, I’m sure.

    1. hope they do it gloriously, we have so many epic stories from our history that the world has never heard of.

  5. I just spent a few days in Verdun, and this atmosphere is a little on these posters/trailer ...dramatic and terrible! We must remember...

    1. We must, French people and Serbs were massive allies during both wars, especially the first one, in those years word Serbian was synonym from heroic bravery in France. Many of those who survived were taken in by French hospitals.

  6. Hi Desi
    We spoke about the WWI experience of our respective countries (Serbia and Australia) a few years ago. Apart from Serbia the nascent nations of Australia and New Zealand (combined populations of about six million) put over a million in uniform and suffered well over 500,000 casualties. I wrote a paper on Serbia’s war and from available sources calculated over 500,000 military deaths but as many as three times that of civilians, most on the ‘Trail of Tears’ in 1915, out of a population of about 4.5 million. Serbia put 500,000 in uniform at the outbreak of war in 1914. At the time of the second invasion in early 1915 about another 150,000 troops were raised, mainly to replace earlier losses. At the end of the retreat about 40,000 emaciated survivors were left. The French evacuated about 30,000 to Corfu. It is thought that over 1:5 million civilians accompanied the army in the retreat including most of the population of Belgrade (ahead of the Austrians bent on revenge for their earlier humiliation by the hugely outnumbered Serbian army). Nobody knows for sure but it’s believed as many as a million Serb civilians also perished in the retreat as only a few hundred thousand starving survivors reached the coast with the remnants of the army. Amazingly after all this the Serbs raised another army over 200,000 that in 1918 with the Allies (British, French and Greek) took back their country and utterly defeated the Austrians and their German allies. It’s an incredible story and it’s marvellous that they’re making part of it into film.
    Cheers, Doc

    1. Yes, your country lost a lot of people too, especially at Gallipoli. And not only that those numbers are true and shocking, Doc, but we also have to have in mind that Serbia suffered through three Balkan wars against Bulgaria just a few years before WW1 which left us without an army, supplies, a destroyed country kicked straight into another war to come out of it as a winner. In those decades from 1870s to 1940s we've probably lost half of the population a couple of times, not to mention the suffering under Ottomans for five hundred years. Truly a living hell... which still continues, because after NATO bombings in 1999 we now suffer under idiots in the form of our president, government and prime ministress :)