Louder than Guns

A documentary film about the role of patriotic music in political changes in the 1990s, the Homeland War and the destinies of their composers and singers.

Aircrafts, tanks, bombs, automatic rifles, media and propaganda were the Homeland War weaponry of choice. Nevertheless, the loudest were the songs. Ones used them to describe the nightmares that befell them, others to confirm their political loyalty. The national TV broadcaster considered music an important form of political 'fight', so they commissioned, financed, recorded and intensely broadcasted it. Even twenty years after the end of the Homeland War, its soundtrack still attracts attention and sparks emotions.

In the late 1980s and early 1990s, patriotic music played an extremely important role in the political changes occurring in all the former Yugoslavian countries, especially in Croatia. In the first multi-party election after the Second World War, the Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) beat the reformed communists with a great help from music, which in 1990 took an active part in boosting the national spirit. The system changed – from a unitary, socialist Yugoslavia to an independent and democratic Croatia – but the structure of music serving political goals remained the same. Open aggression in Croatia in the autumn of 1991 sparked an impulse response from musicians like never before – from fiddlers and tambura players, to pop singers, to dance musicians, to rockers and punkers. The national broadcaster, Croatian Radio Television (HRT), became their most powerful sponsor – it commissioned new patriotic songs, broadcasted the existing ones, organised and funded countless patriotic music festivals and charity concerts, enabled many patriotic music videos to be recorded. Only in the first few, the most intense months of war, several hundred new songs were recorded. Their final number still remains unknown. However, many of them have not survived the war, and the story of them is still unfinished and untold.

With appearances by: Zrinko Tutić, Vera Svoboda, Josip Ivanković, Mladen Kvesić, Davor Gobac, Boytronic, Sandra Kulier, Mario Pešo, Borut Šeparović, Miroslav Lilić, Ante Perković and many others.


Miroslav Sikavica

Director of acclaimed documentaries from the Fade-In's TV serial Direct, dedicated to the problems of young people and their rights. He directed around thirty documentary films. His short fiction film The Beast premiered in Director's Fortnight competition at 2016 Cannes Film Festival and won special mention.
Original title: Louder than guns
Year of production: 2017.
Screening time: 86'
Color: color
Format: HD
Production: Factum
Screenwriter and director: Miroslav Sikavica
Producer: Nenad Puhovski
Editor: Miran Miošić
Director of photohraphy: Hrvoje Franjić
Cinematographers: Tamara Cesarec, Josip Ivančić, Goran Legović
Sound design: Martin Semenčić, Ivan Zelić
Graphic design: Bruno Razum
Executive producers: Tamara Babun, Neda Frank
Archive footage, copyright and related rights coordinator: Lada Bonacci
Music rights coordinator - Croatia Records: Frane Tomašić
Color correction: Dragan Šiša
Final sound mix: Ivan Zelić, Studio "Nazor"
Journalist - researcher: Neda Frank
Tehnical support: Mario Bandić, Mislav Šćukanec Rezniček
Editing associate: Marko Ferković
Editing assistants: Srđan Popović, Nina Velnić
Production support: Lucija Parać
Production assistant: Vanja Daskalović
Promotion and Festival coordination: Martina Kolarić, martina@factum.com.hr

Festivals & Awards:

Motovun Film Festival; The Balkan Florence Express, Florence, Italy ; BelDocs, Belgrade, Serbia;