Serbian film by Aleksandar Petrović
December 17, 2012
One of the first attempts to make a screen adaptation of The Master and Margarita dates from 1972, and was realized by the Yugoslavian director Aleksandar Petrović (1929-1994). It was an Italian-Yugoslav co-production which could hardly be considered as a true adaptation of Mikhail Bulgakov's novel, because it differed from it on many points, sometimes even in an irritating manner. In the film by Petrović, for instance, the Master has got a name, while one of the key elements of the novel is that the Master has no name.
Yet, this film became quite popular. On one hand, perhaps because there was no other screen adaptation available, on the other hand probably because of the reputation of Petrović and the other big names who lent their names, such as composer Ennio Morricone. The film was known under the Italian title Il Maestro e Margherita, and on DVD it still is relatively successful as The Master and Margareth, an Italian spoken version with English subtitles.
Less well known is that this film also exists in a Serbian version. Since Petrović was a Yugoslav in 1972, we assume that he first made this version. We're not sure about that though, since this Serbian version is even less documented than the more famous Italian version. Anyway, we have recently got hold of a copy of it.
In terms of content it differs not so much from the Italian version, except for a rather ridiculous short scene which was - rightly - cut out in the Italian version. The big difference is in the soundtrack. We can't hear no Ennio Morricone, but instead we got some Russian songs. And now you can listen to those songs on this site.