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Don't Look Back, My Son


Resistance fighter Neven Novak manages to escape from a deportation train to a death camp and heads for Zagreb, where he plans to abduct his nine-year-old son Zoran from an orphanage. But the father’s plan is complicated by the son’s now being indoctrinated with fascist ideology, making it hard to win his trust. When the boy realises that his father fights the regime, he refuses to come with him. Confronted with his son’s hostility, Neven puts all his efforts into winning him over.

This realistic story, set before the background of WWII, manages to get along without any kitschy glorification of the Partisans. This captivatingly played classic rather shows the full complexity of its characters, including their lust for life while trying to come to terms with their inner values - all this by refusing to paint its characters in black and white. In contrast to other wartime dramas, the death camps are not shown; rather, it is the fear of prosecution and of being discovered and caught at any minute, that stands in the centre. Don’t Look Back, My Son is an unforgettable, captivating, extremely moving and partly downright haunting part of Yugoslav filmmaking history. One of the producers of this film from 1956 was a certain young man named Branko Lustig.


2014 marks the 100th anniversary of World War I and the 75th anniversary of World War II. For this occasion, Branko Lustig has curated an anti-war film retrospective for the LET’S CEE Film Festival. The selected films are meant to both remind us of the crimes of the past as well as send a clear signal against violence, fascism, racism and discrimination.

In cooperation with:



Branko Lustig

Branko Lustig

Lecturer Educational Morning
Lecturer Master Classes
Panel Discussion Über den richtigen Umgang mit dem nachhaltigen Erinnern und Gedenken

Don't Look Back, My Son

Original Title

Ne okreći se sine


Branko Bauer


Branko Bauer, Arsen Diklić


Bert Sotlar, Lila Anders, Zlatko Lukman, Mladen Hanzlovsky, Radojko Ježić





Country and Year

Yugoslavia, 1956


Serbo-Croatian, German, Engl. subtitles

Running time

111 min


Sunday 05.10.

19:00 Urania Kino