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Life of a Shock Force Worker is a jewel of Yugoslav film consider by many to be one of the best accomplishments of the Black Wave, while its digitally restored version was shown at this year’s jubilee edition of the Venice IFF. Čengić’s razor-sharp satire is inspired by the ideological notion and actual life of miners who were glorified as national heroes in the early years of socialist Yugoslavia, such as Alija Sirotanović, to whom the film is dedicated, and who died in poverty. Due to its mocking portrayal of the communist manipulation of workers, the film was once condemned by the ruling party and was never screened in cinemas in the former Yugoslavia. The director of photography on the film is the great Slovenian director and cinematographer Karpo Godina, under whose expert supervision the restoration was carried out.
Bahrudin Bato Čengić was a Bosnian director and one of the forerunners of the Yugoslav Black Wave. He completed his studies in performing arts at the Faculty of Philosophy in Sarajevo, after which he trained in London and made a series of short films. His works are characterised by his signature ironic style and social criticism. Over the course of his career he made three feature-length fiction films: Playing Soldiers (1967), The Role of My Family in the Revolution (1971) and Life of a Shock Force Worker (1972).