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Conversations at the Edge (CATE) Resource Guides


This page contains links to articles, interviews, and videos that can be incorporated into your syllabus in preparation for an event or afterward for post-event discussion and research. Go to for detailed event information.

Želimir Žilnik: SHORT FILMS
Thursday, October 5, 6:00 p.m.
Gene Siskel Film Center
164 N. State St.

Želimir Žilnik: MARBLE ASS
Friday, October 6, 6:00 p.m.
Gene Siskel Film Center
164 N. State St.

Saturday, October 7, 1:00 p.m.
Gene Siskel Film Center
164 N. State St.

Presented in partnership with the The Center for Eastern European and Russian/Eurasian Studies at the University of Chicago, the University of Illinois at Chicago’s (UIC) School of Literatures, Cultural Studies, and Linguistics, and UIC’s School of Art and Art History.

Please note that All CATE events will have real-time captioning (CART). Hearing loops, wheelchair seating, and companion seating are also available at the Gene Siskel Film Center. For other accessibility requests, please visit or write


Želimir Žilnik: Short Films

For more than fifty years, renowned Serbian director Želimir Žilnik has produced a body of trailblazing and politically committed films. A key member of Yugoslavia’s rebellious Black Wave film movement of the 1960s and a pioneer of docufiction, Žilnik’s perspective was shaped by Nazi atrocity, Yugoslavia’s turbulent history, and periods of exile. This program brings together four of Žilnik’s most powerful and innovative shorts, including BLACK FILM (1971), UPRISING IN JAZAK (1973), INVENTORY (1975), and MARKET PEOPLE (1977).

Želimir Žilnik: MARBLE ASS 

Winner of the Teddy for best feature at the 1995 Berlin Film Festival, MARBLE ASS is Žilnik’s breakthrough celebration of queer life in former Yugoslavia shot during the Balkans War. Staring the late Merlinka as a version of herself, the film follows the lives of Merlin and Sanela—two trans women who turn to sex work as a means of financial security and an act of political resistance against the militant machismo of wartime culture.


Over the last two decades, Žilnik has produced a startlingly original body of work on the struggles of undocumented immigrants and refugees. In the award-winning LOGBOOK SERBISTAN, he casts Middle Eastern and African refugees fleeing war and poverty in stories based on their experiences seeking asylum.


Želimir Žilnik is an artist-filmmaker from Novi Sad, Serbia. He has made more than 50 feature and short films which have been exhibited internationally. He has earned accolades for his power to unleash compelling narratives from the lives of ordinary people, but has also faced censorship for his unflinching criticism of governments and their apparatus. Žilnik has been the subject of major career film retrospectives at Centre Pompidou, Paris, 2019; Cinemateca Argentina, 2018; Mar del Plata International Film Festival, 2017; Anthology Film Archive, New York, and Harvard Film Archive, 2017; Ankara International Film Festival, 2016; Doclisboa, 2015; Arsenal, Berlin, 2015; CINUSP, São Paulo, 2014; Thessaloniki International Film Festival, 2014; and more. His work has also been featured at Documenta, Kassel; Venice Biennale; Institute of Contemporary Arts, London; Museum moderner Kunst Stiftung Ludwig Wien; Barcelona Museum of Contemporary Art; Museo Universitario Arte Contemporaneo, Mexico City; The Museum of Modern Art, New York; The Renaissance Society, Chicago; National Gallery of Art, Washington DC; Edith-Russ-Haus für Medienkunst, Oldenburg’ Lentos Art Museum, Linz; Museum für Moderne Kunst, Frankfurt; Deutsches Historisches Museum and Galleria Nazionale d'Arte Moderna e Contemporanea, Rome; among others. In addition to his filmmaking career, Žilnik has also served as a mentor and executive producer in many workshops in Europe and the US.


Shoot It Black! An Introduction to Želimir Žilnik [Article]*
Boris Buden | Afterall: A Journal of Art, Context and Enquiry, Vol. 25 (1) | p. 38-47 | Autumn 2010
*This is a library resource that requires ARTIC login

Old School Capitalism: An Interview with Želimir Žilnik [Interview]
Greg DeCuir, Jr. | Cineaste Magazine, Vol. 35 (4) | 2010

Želimir Žilnik’s Unemployed Bodies [Article]
Greg DeCuir, Jr. | Jump Cut Vol. 57 | Fall 2016

And the Marble Ass saw the second coming of Tito: Želimir Žilnik's cinematic representations of a transitional society through the revolutionary carnivalesque [Article]*
Toni Juricic | Studies in Eastern European cinema, Vol.14 (2) | p.154-167 | July 1, 2023
*This is a library resource that requires ARTIC login

'In a partisan way': Želimir Žilnik's Uprising in Jazak and the reconstruction of antifascist memory from below [Article]*
Gal Kirn | Studies in Eastern European cinema, Vol.13 (3) | p. 272-287 | November 1, 2022
*This is a library resource that requires ARTIC login

Guest Workers and Non-Aligned Friends: Postsocialist and Postcolonial Solidarity in Želimir Žilnik’s Recent Films about Migration [Article]*
Nataša Kovačević | Comparative literature studies (Urbana), Vol.59 (3) | p.506-526 | 2022
*This is a library resource that requires ARTIC login

Black Film [Article]
Ksenya Gurshtein | National Gallery of Art | Spring 2014

Interview with Želimir Žilnik [Interview]*
Vlastimir Sudar | Studies in Eastern European cinema, Vol.14 (2) | p.186-189 | August 2022
*This is a library resource that requires ARTIC login

The interface between film and social roles in docudrama: A case study of directing methodology of Želimir Žilnik [Article]*
Vojnović Miljan | Zbornik radova Akademije umetnosti (Online), Vol. 3 | p.23-35 | 2015
*This is a library resource that requires ARTIC login




Surfing the Black: Surfing the Black - Yugoslav Black Wave Cinema and Its Transgressive Moments
Gal Kirn, Dubravka Sekulić and Žiga Testen | Jan van Eyck Academie | January 1, 2011

Conversations at the Edge Lecture Recordings
Conversation at the Edge video recordings (2016–present.) Available with SAIC login credentials.