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Exit Through the Cuckoo’s Nest

“As a teenager in Belgrade in the 1990s, life felt like a limbo in a country ruled by incompetent fools and crippled by sanctions and wars. When the blue envelope arrived ordering me to go to war in Kosovo, all I knew was that I would never fire a gun. But I had to get on the train to become a soldier I never wanted to be.
In the platoon around me were young people like me in their early twenties: provincials, mechanics, young fathers, failed students, unemployed hairdressers, and others with unfulfilled lives. ‘Here’s the rifle. Now go and kill!’ they were told.
Many of my comrades died, some took their own lives afterwards. I was lucky because I always refused to shoot, but I ended up in military prison. After becoming a translator, I had a breakdown and deliberately pretended to be mentally ill in order to be sent to a psychiatric hospital. After months of pretending, I was finally released and able to return home on the exact day when NATO began bombing my entire country.»

  • Duration


  • Director

    Nikola Ilić

  • Release

    04 / 2024

  • Production

    HOOK Film

  • Festivals

    Visions du Réel 2024