Innocence Unprotected (1968)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Movie Info

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
Art House & International , Documentary , Drama , Special Interest
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
Criterion Collection


Dragoljub Aleksic
as Acrobat Aleksic
Vera Jovanovic
as The Wicked Stepmother
Ana Milosavljevic
as Nada the Orphan
Ivan Zivkovic
as Aleksic's Brother
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for Innocence Unprotected

Critic Reviews for Innocence Unprotected

All Critics (8) | Top Critics (3)

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.

February 8, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

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

Full Review… | May 8, 2005
New York Times
Top Critic

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

Full Review… | December 31, 1999
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

A real love for the film medium irradiates the production.

Full Review… | November 6, 2007
TV Guide

Early Makavejev which shows a number of his thematic elements taking shape in a witty, probing study of juxtaposition.

Full Review… | May 24, 2003

A delight with a style all its own.

February 21, 2001
Apollo Guide

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

This is a pretty brilliant and crazy mix of clips forming somewhat of a narrative. The clips are sourced mainly from Yugoslavia's first talkie entitled "Innocence Unprotected," which was written/directed/produced/starring Yugoslavian strongman Dragoljub Aleksic. This footage is intercut with present day interviews and other footage with Aleksic and the other cast members, as well as WWII and post-WWII footage from Yugoslavia.

Anthony Albarran
Anthony Albarran

One of the stranger documentaries ever made. It's a curious amalgam of clips from Yugoslavia's first talkie, present day interviews with the cast, high flying feats of daring, World War II footage, and poetry among other things; with each medium evoking another in what becomes a continuous stream of almost experimental imagery. It may not be one of the director's best works, but it certainly is a fascinating look at a culture pulled off with Makavejev's signature streak of comedy and eccentricity.

Aaron Wittwer
Aaron Wittwer

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