Interviewed in MCA Zagreb 27 June 2014
In the reality, I had been losing continuously, so I turned such a reality into a joke. And, as in any good joke, the absurdity has won: the more I lose, the more I win. The laugh and the art helped me in it. My illusions. This is an excerpt from a written but, for some reason, a speech never read by Nedeljko Dragić at the Vladimir Nazor Award giving ceremony. As formally announced in May this year, Dragić has won the Vladimir Nazor Award for Lifetime Achievement for film, but if one takes into account the considerable body of his work, he could have just as well won it for cartoons, illustrations, and design. As well as for his harsh, realistic, and occasionally black humor.
ORIS: There is a great deal of material that was used in the monograph The Man and the Line. To what extent did you participate in the preparation of the book?
Nedeljko Dragić: I gave everything I had left. The bulk of my archives was destroyed in the last war. On the outskirts of Karlovac, where the border with Serbian Krajina was located, a bomb fell, and demolished a part of the house where the archives were located, so that portion was destroyed. The people fled, and it all got wet. And these are the remains of the remains, probably about twenty percent of the archives I had before. I only had a small apartment until 1980, so I could not keep everything there. I managed to save drawings for the entire Diary, and we included but one or two drawings here. I collaborated with Midhat Ajanović, he came to Munich a few times, wrote the texts, and I wrote down the details for him on the margins of the text. Just for the sake of getting to know him better. I wrote down what I thought was perhaps more accurate in some details, and we collaborated well. I would send him all sorts of clippings, everything I had from the newspapers, various articles. I also have my journals; I usually keep a journal when I am making a film. I did not know exactly what he would do with it. When he sent the concept, I agreed. We continued to collaborate until the moment when he stopped writing, and so did I. Because I knew that he was annoyed with something, something about the translations. And so, there is no real data, say, about my work in Germany. But I have it on paper, every day, even by the hour, everything I worked on when I was in Germany. I mainly did commercials, and made my living by doing it. I wrote a few screen plays, I still have them, which I thought might be made into a movie someday.