Walter Defends Sarajevo / Valter brani Sarajevo (Yugoslavia, 1972)

directed by Hajrudin Krvavac, war drama, 132 min, eng subtitles
written by Djordje Lebović
with Velimir ‘Bata’ Zivojinović, Rade Marković, Ljubiša Samardzić

The classic Yugoslavian war film, Walter Defends Sarajevo, is a fictionalised account of the life of Vladimir Peric, known by his nom de guerre 'Walter', the leader of a resistance group in Sarajevo from 1943 until his death in the battle to liberate the city on April 6, 1945. The main character was played by one of the most famous Yugoslavian actors of all time, Velimir Bata Živojinović. Since its release in 1972 the movie has been watched by billions of people. Owing to its immense popularity in China, where children and streets were named after the characters from the film, and a beer brand called 'Walter' was marketed with Živojinović's picture on the label, Walter Defends Sarajevo became one of the most-watched war films of all time and still has a cult status in the countries of the former Yugoslavia and China.