Serbian Stefan Labodovic… Photographer of the Algerian Revolution – Al-Hiwar Al-Jazairia

Yesterday, Saturday evening, the feature documentary “Non-Alignment, Scenes from Labudovic’s Reels” by Serbian director Mila Toraglic was shown. His political stations and his international trips.
This work, produced in 2022 and presented within the framework of the 11th edition of the International Film Festival in Algiers (FICA), deals with the path of this photojournalist who was working for the Yugoslav film production agency “Filmski Novosti” and who accompanied Tito on his travels around the world and documented the various international political events that took place. He experienced it and the leaders he met, and he became known in his country as “Tito’s Photographer.”
Based in the Serbian capital, Belgrade, which is also the former capital of Yugoslavia, the director sheds light on the professional life of the 88-year-old Labudovic, who recalls, in an atmosphere of nostalgia and fun, the various political events that he covered as a photojournalist inside and outside Yugoslavia, most notably the first conference of the Non-Aligned Movement that took place Belgrade hosted it in 1961.
This work presents, in 104 minutes, previous dialogues with Labodovic, accompanied by many archival photos and videos that testify to the busy path of this photographer, starting with the Belgrade Conference, where he took many dated photos of him and the presidents who attended that summit, refusing to align with any of the capitalist and socialist sides in In the context of their Cold War, they established that movement, which was later joined by many countries of the world.
Some of that archive presented by the documentary also pertains to the Algerian war of liberation, where the photographer was in Algeria in 1959, by order of Tito, and stayed there for three years, during which he made many documentaries that documented the struggle of the Algerian people, so it was “positive propaganda” about this revolution and “the most important cooperation against colonialism.” Labodovic, who is also called the “photographer of the Algerian revolution,” says Labodovic.
In this context, Toraglic focused on this important historical link between Serbia and Algeria, so she traveled to Algiers and met there with one of the Mujahideen who had many pictures about the liberation revolution that belonged to Labudovic. She also visited the “Mujahid Museum” in the capital, where many of his works are displayed. , considering that Labudovic was a “great link” between the two countries.
The photographer’s last presence in Algeria was through a photography exhibition in the capital in 2015 as part of the Serbian cultural days in Algeria, and he was also honored in the framework of the 5th edition of the International Film Festival in Algiers (FICA) in 2014.
Some of the documentaries contained in this work also date the voyages that led Tito to many African countries such as Egypt, Ethiopia and Ghana, which are under the banner of Non-Aligned Movement, especially through the legendary ship “Ghalib”, which is currently in a Croatian port after it was eaten by rust, and Labodovic says that his country was It has “non-Stalinist communism and relations of interests with everyone,” adding that he “was able to visit many countries and get to know them and document part of their history thanks to his travels with Tito.”
Labudovic, who left a large archive witnessing the struggle of liberation movements and the Cold War period, which is still preserved to this day in his country Serbia, also documented many United Nations conferences and world leaders who left their mark on them as Nikita Khrushchev, Dwight Eisenhower and Vidal Castor, as shown by this English-speaking documentary.
Mila Torajlic is a Serbian director, born in 1979. She studied cinema at the University of Belgrade and political science at the London School of Economics in Britain. She specializes in documentaries, and her most important works are “Cinema Camonisto” (2010) and “The Other Side of Everything” (2017).
The day before yesterday, Friday, the 11th International Film Festival in Algeria (FICA) opened, dedicated to committed films, with the participation of 60 films from different countries, including 25 works in competition. This session focuses especially on issues of resistance, women and the environment.

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