By Carl Savich
In 1942, the NDH released the documentary The Watch on the Drina, Wacht an der Drina in German, Straza na Drini in Croatian, and La Guardia Sulla Drina in Italian, a documentary film short directed and written by Branko Marjanovic. The cinematographer was Branko Blazina. It was distributed by Hrvatski Slikopis, Croatia Film. The film is 30 minutes in length in German with German language titles. The film was awarded a bronze diploma at the 1942 Venice Film Festival.
The opening credits present the production credits: Staatliches Filminstitut. The State Film Institute. Hrvatski Slikopis. Croatia Film. The content of the film is described: “Zeigt ein Dokument unserer Zeit aus Bosnien. Eine dokumentarische Darstellung des Kampfes des Kroatischen Volkes fuer seine Freiheit in den ersten Monaten seiner Existenz.” “The film shows a document of Bosnia in our time. A documentary film on the war of the Croatian people for freedom in the first months of their existence.”
An Italian language version as La Guardia Sulla Drina was released in Italy. The Italian version has a different credits opening and some segments are different from the German version. The opening titles sequence features the title in Italian superimposed over the Drina River. The Italian version is 10 minutes longer than the German version. It is approximately 40 minutes long. It is re-edited but follows the structure of the German release. There are more scenes of Bosnian Muslims, scenes of Sarajevo, the Bosnian Muslim cemetery, the Bascarsija, a segment on how fez hats are made, minarets, a muezzin, a mosque, and Bosnian Muslim life and crafts. The sequencing is also slightly different. The emphasis on the “Bolshevik” enemy is also less in this Italian version.
The film was made by the NDH to demonstrate the success and progress achieved by the Independent State of Croatia in 1942 The first goal of the film is to show that the NDH is a viable and secure country. The NDH can control its borders. It can meet any danger to its security or existence. A second goal is to show that the NDH is part of the German or Axis block of nations and shares their ideology and objectives. The film is in German to emphasize this point. The third goal is to create an image of an ethnic community or Volksgemeinschaft in the NDH. The historical background is meant to show the continuity of the Croatian people up to the present. The NDH also produced a wartime movie entitled Otac Domovine, The Father of the Homeland, on Ante Starcevic. The fourth goal is to show that Bosnia is an integral part of Croatia and the NDH. This is why there is a focus on Bosnian Muslims in the film and on Islam. The fifth goal is to present an image of the NDH as part of the West engaged in an ideological and military conflict with the East. This is why there is a focus on “Bolshevism” and Roman Catholic Churches.
The film presents a simplistic Manichean, black and white dichotomy. The Croatian people are pitted against the “Bolsheviks” or Soviet or Russian backed Communist guerrillas or Partisans, who are portrayed as tools or proxies of Moscow and London. Everything is seen through this myopic lens. Croatia is fighting a life and death struggle against the Reds. Croatia has one enemy: The Bolsheviks. A very simple picture is presented. It is all or nothing. Everything Croatian is Good. Everything “Bolshevik” is Evil. It makes the moral judgments very simple. There is no thinking involved at all. We are all Good. They are all Evil. This also matches exactly the German or Nazi perspective in 1942. The no. 1 enemy is the Communist. The film was made to appeal to German audiences and to show how the NDH was in sync with Nazi policy. The film also buttresses Operation Barbarossa.
The Drina River is significant symbolically as the dividing line between the West and the East. The title is also an allusion to the German nationalistic song “Die Wacht am Rhein”, “The Watch or Guard on the Rhine”.
The Drina River divides East and West Europe. “At present, the Black Legion is cleansing the eastern border of Croatia.” Croatians are the guardians of the West, they guard the gate to the East. Bosnia is historically a Croatian land. The purest form of the Croatian language is spoken in Bosnia. The last Bosnian ruler was Croatian king Stjepan Tomasevic who was the last Roman Catholic Kotromanic dynasty ruler of Bosnia when Ottoman Turkey took over Bosnia. A part of the Bosnian people converted to Islam. But all Bosnian Muslims are of pure Croatian blood, they are all Croats who converted to Islam. This is a central tenet of the Ustasha ideology especially as espoused by Ante Pavelic and Ante Starcevic. The Bosnian Muslim “spiritual leaders” have always supported a Croatian national future for Bosnia. In short, the Bosnian Muslims and Croats are all the same people with the same past and future. The NDH represents them and protects their interests. “Bandits began to burn, destroy, murder, and to plunder.”
Croatian troops appear in German helmets and motorcycles and staff cars. It is difficult to separate German troops from Croatian troops. In the background, The Ride of The Valkyries or Ritt der Walkuren by Richard Wagner from the 1870 opera The Valkyries from the opera cycle The Ring. This is another appeal to Western culture and to German audiences. The Croats are depicted as part of the West. The guerrillas or “bandits” are identified as Communist Partisans, or “the left flank of the Soviet Army”. The film never mentions “Serbs” or “Serbians” or “Orthodox”. There is no reference to Chetnik guerrillas. Everyone is lumped into the Bolshevik category, although factually, eastern Bosnia was a Serbian and Chetnik region of Bosnia. There is some fudging and falsification here. There is also a conflation of the Kozara Operation in western Bosnia in 1942, which had a large Partisan component, and eastern Bosnia, which was a Serbian and Chetnik area. The two disparate regions are blended into one with the narrator not making the distinction.
The narrator announced that Ante Pavelic will never desert or abandon his people and that no trace of the enemy will be left behind. Serbian farmers are shown as captured POWs in the film although they are not described as Serbs. They are lumped as Bolshevik bandits. The film features Bosnian Muslims wearing fezzes. In one scene, a Serbian civilian has his papers checked by a Bosnian Muslim wearing a fez with two Croatian soldiers wearing helmets. Ante Pavelic and Vjekoslav Maks Luburic also are featured. In crowd scenes, a blonde haired girl raises her arm in a fascist or Nazi “Heil Hitler!” salute in front of Ante Pavelic. Bosnian Muslims and Croats are seen with Pavelic, shaking his hand and congratulating him. The final scene shows the Croatian flag flapping on a flagpole.
The opening scene features an idyllic, pastoral landscape in Bosnia. The narrator intoned in German. “Bosnia is one of the most interesting places in the beautiful Croatia. Nature has rewarded this land with immense riches.” The first scene shows a sheep herder wearing a cap in the mountains of Bosnia playing a piccolo followed by sheep. The camera pans across the mountains revealing domesticated animals such as sheep, cows, goats grazing, and oxen. It is a romanticized rustic locale. The Bosnian rivers Vrbas, Una, Bosna, and Drina are mentioned. Then the Drina River is shown. The narrator states: From ancient times, Drina divided the East from the West. Bosnian bans and later kings ruled this land up to the Drina. In the 12th century, Bosnia was occupied and ruled by non-Croats, by foreigners. Here in Bosnia was established their own Independent State of Croatia. The Croatian king Tvrtko ruled Bosnia up to the Drina River. In the 14th century, King Tvrtko appointed himself King of Croatia. The Drina River quickly became the eastern border of Croatia and has remained so to the present day.
Extended film footage is shown of the Drina River. The falls, rushing waves, the river flow, and the banks of the river are shown. Then houses along the river, with a man entering one, appear. Then Croatian weavers with cotton are shown. The narrator states that nowhere is Croatian spoken in its purest form than in the mountains of Bosnia.
Then the scene shifts to film footage of the waterfall in the Bosnian city of Jajce which is in central Bosnia. It was here that the last Croatian ruler Stjepan Tomasevic found his resting place. He was killed in 1463 when Bosnia was invaded and conquered by the Ottoman Turks under Turkish Sultan Mehmed II who killed the Bosnian leaders and destroyed the Bosnian state. Bosnia became a region of the Ottoman Turkish Empire ruled from Constantinople. The Bosnian state was extinguished and disappeared from history. The Jajce waterfall is shown then the camera pans up to reveal the houses in the town.
From that time a certain portion of the Bosnian population converted to Islam and since then Muslims and Christians have live side by side and together in Bosnia. The minaret of a mosque is shown. A Roman Catholic Church is shown. Here, however, a non-Croat people also lived, “nomads” (“nomadska plemena” in Croatian). It was these nomads who opposed the announcement of the establishment of the Independent State of Croatia in 1941 and who calculated and conspired with “Bolshevism” (“boljsevizmom” in Croatian) to oppose the new NDH regime and to wage a war against the NDH under the banner or flag of Bolshevism. The star they show on the caps of captured guerrillas appears like a homemade star and not like a real Soviet crvena zvezda or red star. It looks like a fake red star. “For many Bosnian places and villages, these were the coming of dark days.” The bandits burned, killed, plundered, destroyed. They launched a bestial terror against helpless inhabitants of Bosnia. Film of burning houses and roofs appears along with destroyed houses.
Then film footage of two children appears amid the destruction. The context is that these are Croatian victims of the Bolshevik terror unleashed by Communist guerrillas. Then film of destroyed houses is shown. Then there is a fade out. This was all prologue.
Then the film begins with the present. Ustasha troops of the Crna Legija or the Black Legion are shown. They are shown as heroic warriors who will do battle against the Bolshevik terror. They are the heroes of the current day. From here the film documents their struggle. Here the facts are faked. The Black Legion was formed in Sarajevo by Croats and Bosnian Muslims to battle Chetnik and Serbian guerrillas who had taken control of all of eastern Bosnia. There are virtually no Croats in eastern Bosnia. So this Black Legion was formed to take back control of eastern Bosnia from Serbian Chetnik guerrillas, which Bosnian Muslims had lost. In the film, however, the fake image is created that it is Bolshevik or Communist Partisan bandits or guerrillas who are the targets of the Black Legion.
The members of the Black Legion are shown in heroic poses with rifles and machine guns. They will heroically confront the danger. They will help their “brothers” (“braci” in Croatian) who are attacked. Then images of the Armed Forces of the NDH appear as they enter a region with tankettes and motorcycles with three soldiers on board. Then a staff car is show with its top down. It is a Mercedes Benz convertible. They drive on a dirt road with a village in the background. Then a truck full of soldiers is shown wearing German helmets and uniforms. NDH troops were issued German uniforms and equipment. There is no way to tell if they are German or Croatian troops. They have the same clothes and the same equipment.
Then Croatian troops are shown wearing non-German helmets and non-German uniforms on horseback. They wear royalist Yugoslav French-made Adrian helmets. Then Croatian troops in a tankette with the Croatian flag are shown. Then a soldier wearing a German helmet appears next. Then the film cuts to the Black Legion as they storm a village carrying Croatian flags. They have rifles and a machine gun. There is footage as they climb a hill and advance across fields as they approach a village. One soldier has the Croatian flag which he is going to place in the village once it is taken. It is not clear where this scene is taken. The Black Legion fought in eastern Bosnia but it also fought in central and western Bosnia. Then a car is shown moving along the road with the camera positioned near the steering wheel filming the road from the inside.
The narrator says that the Poglavnik has visited the destroyed areas even before they were freed from the “Bolshevik hordes”. Then Ante Pavelic is shown being greeted by civilians. “In good and bad days the Poglavnik is with his people.” Then Pavelic is shown inspecting the damaged houses with other NDH leaders. He is seen talking to villagers. The narrator says that the Poglavnik has declared that this front is “the left wing of the Soviet Army.” Again, the real enemy is Russia and the Soviet Union. The guerrillas are just pawns of the USSR.
The narrator says that the Poglavnik has stated that all enemies will be wiped out and no track of them will remain on Croatian territory. Destroyed houses are shown. Then Pavelic approaches a man and a woman. The woman is holding an infant. Their daughter is also shown. The man has a Adolf Hitler style mustache. Then the destroyed houses are shown while the narrator sarcastically mocks the Partisans who supposedly will bring freedom to the people. Then a car with Pavelic drives by with people giving the “Heil Hitler” salute to Pavelic. There are also Ustasha troops in the crowd. More destroyed buildings are shown as the film is shot from a moving car. The roofs of houses are gone. Some houses are totally destroyed. This damage is attributed to Communist Partisan guerrillas.
Pavelic is shown on horseback on a hillside. On his own initiative he has gone to visit his troops on the front lines. He is shown with binoculars inspecting Croat troops at the front. A soldier is seen wearing a non-German helmet. Pavelic appears as troops are shown advancing. Their enemies are described as “mercenaries (“placenicima” in Croatian) of Moscow and London. Again, the film hammers home the point that the Partisans are merely pawns of the Soviet Union. They even use churches as shelters but Croat troops had cleaned (“ciste”) out all the nests. Then a German plane is shown attacking.
Then Croat troops wearing three different helmets in three different clips are edited together. In the first scene, they are wearing royalist Yugoslav French-made Adrian helmets. In the second scene, a German helmet is worn. Then the circular non-German helmet which may be German surplus captured from countries occupied by Germany. They are filmed firing canons and machine guns. Troops in German helmets advance with a machine gun. Then POWs are shown emerging from houses and fields. Then there is a fade out. The next scene shows the Black Legion advancing in eastern Bosnia. The narrator says: “In that time, the Black Legion cleansed (“cistila”) the eastern border of Croatia.” They are shown searching for guerrillas in a village with low-roofed houses. Two guerrillas are captured as they exit from the roof. The Black Legion troops take their weapons.
There is a close-up of the guerrilla captured in the house wearing a black shubara cap. It has the crvena zvezda or Soviet red star but it looks like a homemade star just barely attached to the cap for the camera. There is a jump cut from the scene where they are captured to this close-up scene. The location of the scene is not given.
There is a film image showing a Bosnian Muslim wearing an Ottoman Turkish fez with what appears to be a Bosnian civilian, most likely a Serb. The film shows NDH forces apprehending the “bandits”. The soldier in the background is wearing a royalist Yugoslav French-made Adrian helmet which looks like surplus. There is very little research on the Bosnian Muslim role in the Ustasha from mainstream historical accounts. The soldier on the right, in the foreground, is wearing a German helmet.
These are the prisoners they have captured. They look like Serbian civilians. Then they show houses with white flags of surrender on the outside. The narrator says that they had the choice of either surrendering or being annihilated.
In the next scenes film footage is shown of captured civilians in Bosnia who are described as “bandits” as they are marched off into captivity by German and Croatian troops. The narrator described the events: Captured bandits are led off to camps where they will be engaged in productive labor. These appear to be Serbian civilians in northern Bosnia in the Kozara region after the German and Croatian offensive against Partisan guerrillas. The director focuses on the feet and the marching motion of the prisoners. We can see that some are barefoot. The same style was used when showing marching Ustasha troops at the beginning of the film. They march in single file, in a military-style movement, displaying order and discipline.
Women, children, infants, and the elderly are shown in wagons and carts on the move. It is not clear if they are being deported or if they are returning to their homes. The narrator explained: Peaceful residents who had to flee to the forests to escape the terror of the bandits are shown returning to their homes.
The film depicts them as refugees from the battles in the region. They had fled the Communist terror. Now they are allowed to return. Women and children were deported to the camps and the women were sent to Germany as forced laborers. The film, however, states that they are returning to their homes. It is difficult to tell if they are leaving or going home in the film.
What is not revealed is that these scenes are not on the Drina but in western Bosnia, in the Kozara region. They also do not disclose that these are Serbian civilians. They also do not explain that the Communist Partisans are Serbian. This footage has nothing to do with the Drina River border.
The narrator describes another group of prisoners: This is another scene of captured prisoners who believed the Bolshevik propaganda from Moscow and London. These do not appear to be combatants but civilians who had been rounded up.
Ustasha graffiti on a Serbian house in western Bosnia in the Kozara region appears on the screen. There is a large “U” for Ustasha symbol. Graffiti: “Zivili Poglavnik”. “Long live the leader.” There is a very quick panning shot. There are fast edits throughout.
They could not resist showing a gratuitous image of a soldier in a German Wehrmacht helmet. German troops were on the march everywhere in 1942 from North Africa to Russia. The image is one of Croats as part of the Western world, protecting the West from the barbarous East. Croats and Germans march together in solidarity and unity towards victory.
The narrator describes a captured “bandit” as the camera zooms in on his face: This is their face, those who have the Bolshevik infection that has created misery worse than that of animals.
The narrator explained the next image: And this is the sign under which they fought. It is in Serbian Cyrillic. So we now discover that the “bandits” are Serbian. Their script is not Latin. There are Communist or “Bolshevik” stars meaning they are Communist Partisans. They show prisoners with hats with the crvena zvezda or Soviet red star. But these were conflated with the images showing civilians. The message is that they are all Reds and all bandits, all combatants. But the earlier images were clearly of civilian non-combatants, what looked like farmers. The scene fades out here.
The next section is on the children in the Kozara operation who were left behind when their parents were killed or captured. The narrator blames the Partisans: The Partisans have left their own children to face hunger and death. The children were taken to the NDH concentration camps. The narrator stated that the NDH took measures to ensure that they were provided with care: The leadership of the Croatian State is concerned that they be placed in collection points. They are to be fed to prevent hunger and to cure any illnesses. They are provided medical help that guarantees them a decent human life.
The children are shown with their mothers. Medical staff wearing white uniforms provided medical assistance to the children. A nurse is at a table to process them. The nurse is wearing glasses and takes down information with a pencil as she queries the children. The children all look healthy. A nurse has a Red Cross armband. They carry a child in a stretcher. They examine the children. No location is given. No time frame is shown. This is obviously not on the Drina or in eastern Bosnia. These children are most likely from the Kozara region of northwestern Bosnia.
A girl with a shaved head appears receiving food and water. The girls and the boys have shaved heads.
From the scenes of children receiving medical help, food, and water it seques into a scene showing children wearing black Ustasha caps and uniforms.
Then the camera pans to the left to show a nurse with the children. Many of the children are wearing civilian clothes but several are shown wearing black Ustasha caps and Ustasha uniforms. The narrator initially said these were children abandoned by the Partisans. But in the next scene children are shown wearing the Ustasha uniforms whom the narrator says are orphans because the Partisans killed their families. The implication is that these are Croatian children. At any rate, it is meant to be ambiguous. Are these Serbian children orphaned due to the fighting? Or are they Croatian children orphaned due to Partisan guerrilla activity or atrocities? Nurses take them to a bus. The bus departs. There is a fade out.
Then there is a return to a pastoral, idyllic scene in the countryside showing flowers and trees. Children are shown in the fields laughing and dancing. They are performing folk dances. The narrator noted how everyone is happy in the NDH and how everyone looks forward to a bright future. The youth especially look with joy on their own future and the future of their homeland, “domovina”.
The youth of the NDH are shown. They are filled with joy. Their future looks exceedingly promising as does that of their homeland, the Independent State of Croatia. There is a quick fade out after showing several boys and girls laughing.
Then the film finally returns to what the movie is supposed to be about, the Crna Legija or Black Legion fighting “Bolshevik bandits” along the Drina River. Members of the Black Legion are shown marching across the screen with rifles in front of a pool of water. The song “Ustaška se vojska diže”, “The Ustasha Army Rises”, is featured on the soundtrack. Then the camera pans across the mountains. Then the Drina River is shown flowing. A blown-up bridge is seen. A Croat soldier is shown with a rifle over his shoulder. High on the mountains, but also on the Drina border, Ustasha soldiers are on guard to guarantee order and peace, “red i mir”, which Croats have purchased by a sacrifice of their worthy blood. More scenes of the mountains and the shore flash across the screen. The Drina River is featured again. Images of Croat soldiers on guard or “straza” on the Drina River appear.
Croatian Ustasha troops are on guard along the Drina: Straza na Drini. A member of the Black Legion stands guard in the mountains in eastern Bosnia. The narrator explained: “Order and peace in the Bosnian villages are now safeguarded by Ustasha soldiers.” Ustasha soldiers are shown guarding a mountain road and the fields of eastern Bosnia. The landscape is deserted. There are no people to be seen anywhere.
Then there is a jump to the next scene showing a town. A Roman Catholic Church is shown. Then a mosque appears. The narrator provided the historical background for the scene: Croatians of the Muslim faith have the purest Croatian blood. Then the camera pans down from the top of a minaret of a mosque. In the war against the “bandits”, Bosnian Muslims have given many lives. “Their blood flowed like a river.” The camera then pans to reveal Bosnian Muslim civilians and stops on an imam. Mustafa Kemal Ataturk outlawed the fez for Turks in 1925 but most are still wearing the Ottoman Turkish fez.
The narrator explained: Bosnian Muslims in their mosques have kept alive the faith in the beautiful (“ljepsu”) Croatian future. A Bosnian Muslim imam is shown.
The next segment focuses on how the NDH is rebuilding after the destruction caused by the Partisans. The first scene shows a worker building a house. The narrator noted: After the liberation of the region, life has returned to normal. Lucky and satisfied people can return to their jobs. Workers are shown cutting wood and repairing structures such as bridges. They work on the reconstruction of their state, which Croatia’s own sons had to pay for dearly with their blood. A man and a woman are shown plowing a field. Horses and a mule are shown. People are shown tilling their fields. The Croat who yesterday took a gun to liberate the land has today taken up the plow to work the fields.
There are scenes of Croats plowing their fields with a horse and with oxen. A return to the pastoral scene of the film’s opening showing sheep grazing in the fields. After the suffering of the liberation, the land revives as the people go with new honor to their jobs. A new life emerges from the ruins. A new hope and joy fills the hearts of these workers. Croatian women are shown dancing a traditional Croatian folk dance. They are wearing traditional Croatian folk costumes. The women join hands in the middle and turn in a circle. Then the men see who can throw a rock the farthest. A wheat field is shown. In peace and brotherly respect, Bosnian villagers of the Catholic and Muslim faith can work together. This statement shows that no one else exists in Bosnia. There are no Serbs, Jews, or Roma, or anyone else. There are only Catholic and Muslim Croatians. This allies the Croats with the Bosnian Muslims against everyone else.
Ustasha soldiers are shown marching with scythes to the fields to make things better for the people and the land. The Ustasha soldiers are shown sharpening the blades of their scythes. Then they cut the wheat and gather it. They are helped by women to make bales. One woman is wearing an Ustasha cap. A woman cradles an infant. A close-up of the woman wearing the Ustasha cap as she smiles broadly closes the scene. This ends the pastoral scene.
A girl walks up to Ante Pavelic and gives the “Heil Hitler!” salute which the Croats adopted from the Germans and Benito Mussolini’s fascists. Ante Pavelic is clearly touched. A German officer can be seen on the left. Mile Budak can be seen in the background. Italian officers are on the right. The German Wehrmacht officer on the left is smiling as well as the Italian officers on the right.
A girl wearing an Ustasha cap greets Ante Pavelic. The narrator intoned: Bosnia has not only shown its proof of unhesitating allegiance to Croatia by its war against the bandits, but by its reception of the Poglavnik who has visited many Bosnian cities and places. Pavelic is shown greeting cheering crowds. Women wearing Ustasha caps smile enthusiastically. Pavelic has visited many places and has been greeted and honored everywhere he has gone. Children present him flowers. He is seen by the people as the future of Croatia who will safeguard the freedom of the Croatian people. These scenes are in Bosnia. No location is given. People with tears of joy have greeted the Poglavnik everywhere he has gone in Bosnia which is the best proof of their support for the leader of the Ustasha Movement.
Ante Pavelic is warmly greeted by a Bosnian Muslim. Pavelic walks down the row shaking hands with people. Smiling women are shown. Then large, enthusiastic crowds of people at the event are featured. Another Bosnian Muslim greets Ante Pavelic and shakes his hand. Another “Heil Hitler!” salute by a girl is shown as Ante Pavelic prepares to leave. A Bosnian Muslim cleric shakes Ante Pavelic’s hand in greeting.
All the Bosnian Muslim clerics in the Bosnian town he visited show their support for Ante Pavelic. One cleric gives a “Heil Hitler!” salute. The young and old all adore him. Women are seen in the crowds who greet him. They wave at him as he gets in his car to depart. Maks Luburic is with him.
The last image in the film shows the national flag of the Independent State of Croatia waving in the wind. The film builds up to the final scene of the Leader as he emerges in triumph. This is similar to Triumph of the Will (1935) by Leni Riefenstahl where everything builds to the appearance of Adolf Hitler as the Leader. It is all about the Leader. “Hitler is Germany. Germany is Hitler.” The Fuehrerprinzip or Leader Principle was applied to the NDH with Ante Pavelic as the Leader or Poglavnik.
There were problems with all of the goals the film sought to address and the image it wanted to create. There was no ethnic community in the NDH. The NDH could not control its borders and was in the midst of a guerrilla campaign. German occupation troops along with Italian troops were needed to maintain the NDH as a viable entity. There was a splintering in Bosnia with some Bosnian Muslim leaders seeking an autonomous Bosnian Muslim statelet. There was a faction of the Bosnian Muslim population that did not identify with the Croatian regime politically or ideologically. The Bosnian Serb population opposed the NDH regime. The Bosnian Serb population was targeted for genocide or elimination. The NDH policy of genocide against the Bosnian Serb population ensured instability and resistance. Finally, the image the NDH sought to present to the world was different from the reality. Widespread atrocities had created resistance which the NDH could not contain or defeat. The reality was in stark contrast to the image created in the film.
The film shows how the NDH saw themselves and how they wanted others to see them. This is a time capsule from 1942.