Fedor Hanžeković

09.01.1913, Bijeljina, Bosnia and Herzegovina - 18.08.1997, Zagreb


He was the first widely acclaimed Croatian director. His success is attributable to a combination of factors. Among them are his genetic origin, (he was the son of famous writer, critic and doctor of law, Mate Hanžeković), his education, (Fedor studied English literature and art history at the University of Philosophy in Zagreb, in addition to art history at Exeter College in England), and his political dexterity, (after WW II, he directed many politically “acceptable” documentaries, such as Stepinac pred narodnim sudom from 1947). Finally, he owed much of his success to the fact that he was the first director who systematically adapted literary works, thematically connected by young heroes who sacrificed personal happiness for material possessions, to film. His opus of feature films consists of three titles, among which his debut film Svoga tela gospodar(1957), a harsh comedy about rural life, based on a short story by Slavko Kolar, stands out. For many years, he was the chief editor of the film magazine Filmska kultura; with Stevo Ostojić he edited the book Knjiga o filmu (1979), selection of articles from Filmska kultura.

In Pula in 1954, he won the second place award from the audience for his direction of the film Stojan Mutikaša. In Pula in 1957, he won the Yugoslav film critics’ diploma for his film Svoga tela gospodar.


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Films by this director

Bakonja fra Brne

(Yugoslavia, 1951)

Directed by: Fedor Hanžeković
PHOTOGRAPHY: Oktavijan Miletić

The film tells the story of a young man from a village who becomes a priest in order to help his father financially. As a director, Hanžeković devoted special attention to the genesis of his main character, Bakonja i.e. Ivo, who goes from being a naïve, inexperienced and honest boy to a cynical, cunning and sly guardian, equipped with experiences from life both in and outside of the monastery. Hanžeković succeeded well in creating a farcical portrayal of the monastic life, relationships between...

b/w, 35 mm, 103'

Master of His Own Body

(Croatia, Yugoslavia, Jadran film, 1957)

Directed by: Fedor Hanžeković
PHOTOGRAPHY: Oktavijan Miletić

This is a comedy with tragic elements based on a short story by Slavko Kolar, or rather on its theatre adaptation by Branko Gavella. It talks about a generation clash, about young victims of their parents’ faulty calculations - Roža who loves her appointed husband, Ivo, who wants to continue to be his “body’s master”… This film was very popular among audiences as well as critics.

b/w, 35mm, 99'
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