Innocence Unprotected (1968)



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Innocence Unprotected was originally filmed in 1941 under the title Nevinoz bez Zastite; it was meant to be the first all-talking feature ever made in Serbia. Yugoslav gymnast Dragolijub Aleksic wrote, produced, directed and starred in this simple tale of a young man who rescues his lady love from her wicked stepmother. The film was never released, falling victim to the Nazi censors; later on, the film was condemned as pro-Nazi (huh?) Flash-forward to 1968: documentary filmmaker Dusan Makavejev unearthed this forgotten film, expanded upon it with newsreel footage of Dragolijub Aleksic performing his athletic feats and filmed interviews with the surviving cast members, and came up with Innocence Unprotected. The result is less a dramatic film than a montage-like celebration of Yugoslavian customs, folklore, and humor. Makavejev referred to Innocence Unprotected as a "montage of attractions"; viewers will no doubt find those attractions most attractive. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi


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Critic Reviews for Innocence Unprotected

All Critics (10) | Top Critics (4)

... One of the most delightful films I've ever seen, and one of the hardest to describe: It's funny, tragic, filled at one moment with black humor and at the next with disarming naivete and in form and style totally original.

Jul 3, 2018 | Rating: 4/4 | Full Review…

Makavejev's third film, an entrancing collage using excerpts from the first Serbian talkie, a hilariously naïve melodrama made in occupied Belgrade in 1942 with film stock stolen from the Germans.

Feb 9, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

I value Makavejev's extraordinary insights into ordinary affairs and his gentle juggling act with Acrobat Aleksic.

May 9, 2005 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

A funny and genuinely endearing tribute to an innocent folk hero -- bizarre in spots, and definitely Makavejev.

Jan 1, 2000 | Full Review…

It's a bold and rather winning curiosity: an obscure Balkan footnote to filth 'history, decked out in spangles and annotated with its own footnotes.

Jul 11, 2018 | Full Review…

A real love for the film medium irradiates the production.

Nov 6, 2007 | Rating: 4/4 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Innocence Unprotected


This is an entertaining documentary about "Innocence Unprotected," the first film made in the Serbian language, during the Nazi Occupation of Yugoslavia in 1942. Showing near a German language film in Belgrade, it drew huge audiences and the attention of a Nazi official all the way from Berlin, temporarily getting the filmmakers in hot water. This could also be seen as one of the flashpoints of Serbian nationalism which does not end well... ...but this is only 1968 when most of the surviving cast and crew have gotten together to talk about their experiences and how they just wanted to make a movie and a little money. For Dragoljub Aleksic, the creative force behind the film, the idea was to make a film to showcase his athletic talents. 25 years later, he is still in top shape, even if he has to now wear a metal corset due to some tomfoolery in his past, unrelated to the human cannonball act he tried to start at one point. To be honest, at least from the clips shown here, the film looks like a shoddy and cliched melodrama. So, the moral of the documentary is you just never know.

Walter M.
Walter M.

Super Reviewer

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