Between 1948 and 1990, Citroën has produced 6 806 319 2cv, Dyane, and Ami cars, which reached a cult status worldwide. 1200 of them are still cruising in Belgrade… But that’s only according to official statistics…
CHILDREN’S RHYME: The mouse is not here, but where is the cat? It didn’t run away, it was eaten by the mouse.
TOUCHE: No, there are some on the other side. That’s why I choose to go this way, because of the cops… Wanna see how fast it can go? Do you want to see how fast it can go? Do you? OK, let’s give it a try! The speedometer doesn’t work, sorry…
BEHAR: People are very curious, you know. Whenever I stop at red lights they always ask me what this is. I tell them it’s a car. They ask what car? I tell them it’s a Dyana. They ask how we make this. I say we improvise, so that we can work. It’s either that or something stupid.
IMER: I go out twice a day, if I can get away from the cops. And when the weather is bad, I don’t go out. I make 2 to 3 euros per shift. Sometimes more if I find some aluminum or some iron. But most of the time it’s 2 euros. One for the fuel and one for me. Just enough to say that I’m not working for free.
ADEM: I had three in total. I sold the first one when my wife had a Caesarian operation, two years ago. I really regret selling it.
Wait a second.
Then I sold the second one when my mother drowned off the coast of Montenegro, on a boat to Italy. She died I don’t know how. I went there. I spent all the money, but I found nothing. That’s how I sold my second Dyana.
When I came back I bought a motorcycle and when I saved some money, I bought this new Dyana. I am not going to sell it, ever. Why would I? It earns its money well, just from cardboards.
ZVONKO: You can’t make it out of every car. The best model is the old “Citroen Dyana”, because its chassis remains when you take off the body. You can’t do that with any other car. We just put a bin in the back and it’s ready for work!
We remove the hood so that it looks more like an agricultural machine than like a car. That way we don’t need technical exams nor license plates to drive it around…
We are faster and more efficient that the cart-pushers. We tour much more streets and neighbourhoods than they do. We are thus much faster than they are so we pick up all the good stuff before them. That’s our goal!
IMER: I am driving this with my mind on the wheel and on the brakes. I only think about bringing in some food for my family so that I don’t have to go around and beg.
There is no recycling service here so we do it instead. It wasn’t really a job meant for us, but at least we can make a living out of it.
GORAN: When we see a Dyana on a parking lot, we ask around for the owner. When we find him, we ask if his Dyana is for sale. If the price is cheap, we buy it. Then we take it home, we break it to pieces and we patch it up like we want.
The gearbox looks good…
ALIJA: Is this that Dyana?
GORAN: It has good tires…
ALIJA: The engine is fine.
GORAN: The brakes are ok…
The clutch is working…
The gas pedal is not bad…
The tires are flat but we’ll pump them up…
Hello, we came for the Dyana.
GRANDMA: Ok, come in.
ALIJA: Sign here.
GORAN: Ok, grandma, may you spend this money in good health!
GRANDMA: Drive it safely, son!
GORAN & ALIJA: Thank you, grandma!
HUSKER DO SONG “DIANA” // CLIP 1: DEMOLITION Hey little girl Do you need a ride? I got some room in my wagon Why dont you hop inside? We can cruise down Waller street All night long But I think I’ll just kill you and rape you instead Diane, Diane, Diane…
II SPEN: Before the war we lived well, with both Serbs and Albanians. Then one night the KLA guerrillas came to our settlement and asked us to fight with them. We didn’t want to, so we joined the Serbs. We fought as long as we could but when we saw there was not end in sight, we packed up and came to Belgrade.
IMER: We are not getting any money from anyobody. Only the Red Cross gives us 20kg of flour, 2kg of sugar and 2l of oil per month. For my two children, it would never be enough if I wasn’t doing the garbage cans. I told you already how many fines I paid… That’s enough! Stop it!
ADEM: The church will be finished soon and we will have to move. It’s a normal thing. There are many Romas here, they burn all sorts of things. It makes a lot of smoke and it’s bad for the church. We know it is wrong, but what can we do? We have nowhere else to live…
KADRIJA: When Tito was alive, it wasn’t like this. Today is not bad either, but it was better back then. XHEVXHET: Where could you sleep when Tito was alive? KADRIJA: Everywhere. Today also, but it was better then. It’s not that we are complaining, but… XHEVXHET: Today, everybody steals. Who’s got money? Not even the banks have money! KADRIJA: One day… XHEVXHET: What do you mean, one day?! You are rich and I am poor? Look at this! Sitting on school books… KADRIJA: What’s your problem? XHEVXHET: What do you mean, what’s my problem? We have no water, no electricity, no nothing, fuck!
ADEM: But we use them the most as power supply so that we can have electricity like everybody else. So that we can have some light when we eat… At least a little bit.
I tried out many different ones but Alcatel is the best. All the others I have to take inside a shop to recharge them. This one I just hook it up… plus, minus… and in 15 minutes it’s full. It can last 2 or 3 days! Better than electricity!
I recharge the car batteries each time I go out, 2 or 3 times a day. Then I take them out, and I put them here… Clear out, son! I hook it up here and that’s how I make light.
We have some light, we can listen to music… With a good battery we could watch TV for 7 nights in a row. But these old ones we find in the garbage are not so great.
MICHEAL JACKSON SONG “DIRTY DIANA” // CLIP #2: RESURRECTION You’ll Never Make Me Stay So Take Your Weight Off Of Me I Know Your Every Move So Won’t You Just Let Me Be I’ve Been Here Times Before But I Was Too Blind To See That You Seduce Every Man This Time You Won’t Seduce Me She’s Saying That’s Ok Hey Baby Do What You Please I Have The Stuff That You Want I Am The Thing That You Need She Looked Me Deep In The Eyes She’s Touchin’ Me So To Start She Says There’s No Turnin’ Back She Trapped Me In Her Heart
Dirty Diana, Nah Dirty Diana, Nah Dirty Diana, No Dirty Diana Let Me Be!
She Likes The Boys In The Band She Knows When They Come To Town Every Musician’s Fan After The Curtain Comes Down She Waits At Backstage Doors For Those Who Have Prestige Who Promise Fortune And Fame, A Life That’s So Carefree She’s Saying That’s Ok Hey Baby Do What You Want I’ll Be Your Night Lovin’ Thing I’ll Be The Freak You Can Taunt And I Don’t Care What You Say I Want To Go Too Far I’ll Be Your Everything If You Make Me A Star
Dirty Diana, Nah Dirty Diana, Nah Dirty Diana, No Dirty Diana . . .
III TOUCHE: And that’s it! But on this one, the dynamo is not working, we have to push it. Help me out a little?
EMRAN: We’re off to school, brother! CAMERA: Where are you going? EMRAN: To school!
TOUCHE: No, I don’t regret it. Why would I regret it? I decided myself. They came one morning and asked if I wanted to go to school. I said I didn’t. They said ok, and they left.
ADEM: l put my children to school first and foremost so that they improve their Serbian, but also because in the other suburbs children get money when they go to school. Here, we’ve been taking our kids to school for more than a year now but we never got anything. No shoes, no pants… Not even a T-shirt. Nothing. Only some shampoo. So I’ll stop sending my son to school. What’s the use? I have to give him one euro each morning… He only gets some milk and a doughnut and by the time he gets home, he’s hungry again!
IMER: So that… he doesn’t have to wander, like me. So that he learns something and gets a job. He already knows how to drive. Not very well, but for his age he’s good.
This is my eight-year old son and he drives better that me! For those of you who watched only over the camera, he drove all the way around the block and he came back to the square. There you go! My eight-year old son, Sultan!
There’s 100 here and 50 there.
EVIL GRANDMOTHER: 1, 2, 300. IMER: Everything’s ok. Easy !
BEHAR I am 14 years old and I go to Grade 1. Better that than nothing… When I get home, I eat some bread, I change my clothes and go to work.
I’ve been driving a Dyana for three years now and nothing ever happened to me. I never had any accident. Nobody ever stopped me. But now this new government stops us every time to ask for our papers. We don’t have any, so we don’t dare to go out any more.
GORAN: We always have to keep an eye on them. They wait for us when we return from work… We tell them we can’t get proper papers because we are illiterate but they say they don’t care, we must have all the documents.
IMER: No, I never run away from the cops. I ask them, can you forgive me at least one more time? They say: “No. If you don’t mind paying the fines, keep driving.” So I keep driving.
PAUL ANKA SONG “DIANA” // CLIP #3: MAKE UP I’m so young and you’re so old This, my darling, I’ve been told I don’t care just what they say ‘Cause forever I will pray You and I will be as free As the birds up in the trees Oh, please stay by me, Diana
IV TOUCHE: Bottles are 1,50 dinars, same as a kilo of iron. Aluminum is 40 dinars, copper is 65. Cardboard is 2 dinars… and so on.
SPEN: 1600. For the whole truck. That’s all. ADEM: There’s not even enough for gas! SPEN’S WIFE: Not even for beer! SPEN : Not even for beer! SPEN’S WIFE: Let’s go, darling!
BEHAR: We add water to make the cardboard heavier. But they know we do it so they also take off some weight. But still it’s a good deal because they can never take off as much weight as we can add in!
ADEM: I should really fix this gas pedal… But I lost the will since I cant go out anymore. Everything else is fine. Nothing should be changed on this car. Only the crankshaft and the spark pistons. I changed the carburetor – I put one from a FIAT 600. Now it consumes twice as little gas.
I got this radiocassette player on the flea market for 3 euros. I didn’t buy the alarm, it was a municipal inspector who gave it to me as a gift when I loaded some sand for him. He told me to put it on my Dyana…
I also have a cigarette lighter. Do you want to see that? I still didn’t light my cigarette, you’ll see… The battery is weak, let’s wait a little… There you go! I fixed this out of pure pleasure!
Yugoslavia won the gold medal… But they didn’t give anything to the poor. They won twice! Why don’t they give something to us, refugees? A bag of flour, at least! We also cheer for Yugoslavia! We too have a will to win! Even greater than the Serbs! And I play football… I played for 15 years back in Kosovo. I played for Maljuzgan, maybe someone heard of Maljuzgan? I wore… number two. And here? If somebody asked me, I would play again! I could play everything, both defender and goalkeeper…
ZVONKO: It is very hard to find a new Dyana these days, because we already turned most of them into paper-mobiles. We work so much with them that we can almost say that the Dyanas are slowly disappearing from the streets. Pretty soon we will have to find a new car… a Wartburg or a Renault 4, probably… from which to make these recycling machines.
IMER: A man from Dyana told me to bring them my old Dyana and they’ll give me a new one. But I can’t remember in which city I have to go, that’s the problem. If I knew, I would take my Dyana there and get a brand new Citroën. He wanted to keep mine for advertising and give me a new one as a gift. But I don’t remember where I have to go…
ADEM: No, no, no. I would never give away my Dyana! She’s everything I have now. I don’t have money, I don’t have a house… I only have this Dyana. Even if they kick me out of here, I can always put my wife, my kids and a mattress inside and we could sleep there! I could go to Kragujevac, to Kraljevo, to Novi Sad… Anywhere I want! It can make 500km in one day, no problem!
GORAN: I don’t know exactly which country made the Dyana. Somebody told us but I forgot.
ADEM: It must be from Russia. Only the Russians can make such a great car! In my opinion… Only them! Everything that they make is top class!
IMER: I don’t think it’s from Russia, and it doesn’t matter anyways. Right now I just don’t remember where I have to go… I just know that if I brought them my own Dyana from Yugoslavia, they would give me a brand new Citroën…
ADEM: Is it China? If it’s not Russia, then it must be China! Nobody else could make this, only China or the Russians!
FERID AVDIC SONG “DIANA, MY LOVE” // CLIP #4: HIGHWAY RACE
Ever since we broke up, Dyana my love I keep asking myself, beloved darling Why did you leave me?
Nobody will ever love you like I do Dyana, beauty of my dreams.
If we ever meet again, Dyana my love Promise me you’ll tell me Why did you leave me?
Nobody will ever love you like I do Dyana, beauty of my dreams.
My heart is calling you through this song, Dyana my love If no one else can make you happy You can always return to me
Nobody will ever love you like I do Dyana, beauty of my dreams.
IMER: See you next time!
BEHAR: Hey, oncle! Look at you!
MALIC: Welcome back, for God’s sake!
I heard you gained weight, but you didnt!
But they cut off all your hair, motherfuckers!
LJUMNORA: Who are you? You are not Imer! IMER: What do you mean, I am not Imer ?! LJUMNORA: You are not Imer! IMER: Who am I, then? LJUMNORA: You are not Imer! IMER: Who am I, then? It’s me, your father! LJUMNORA: Let me go! IMER: You crazy!
IMER: Ljumnora, come here! MALIC: She’s being shy… IMER: Come here, Ljumnora! Come to daddy…
MALIC: Is it true that Dragan was also in jail with you? Is it true they didn’t give you any bread to eat? IMER : No, it’s not true… IMER: What’s with you? I took off my hair myself! You are crazy! Come on, sing me that song! Did you forget it already? IMER’S SISTER: His hair will grow back, don’t worry. MALIC: It’s already much bigger than it was!
IMER: Don’t you recognize me? IMER’S SISTER: She does. She waved at you! IMER: Ljumnora! … If somebody had told me this, I wouldn’t have believed him!
XHEVXHET: Why the fuck do you need this Dyana for? IMER: I’ll drive it as long as I am alive. I’ll only stop when I die. If Monday ever comes… XHEVXHET: This Dyana is a bad omen. IMER: No way! My Dyana is flying like a dragon! The engine is pure candy! MALIC: Fucking Dyana! It got into your blood…
ADEM : I prepared it well. I put on a front panel, a roof, a radio… Even a small TV… When the cops stop me now they will really have something to take! But I don’t think they’ll take my Dyana, it’s wintertime now.
TOUCHE: I do work, the others are too afraid! IMER’S WIFE: He’s young, he has never been busted. He doesn’t know how it feels to get beaten! TOUCHE: Why would they beat me because of my Dyana. I’d let them have it. I take my chances. If they take it, they take it. If they don’t, I keep going.
IMER: You can be sure of one thing: If she doesn’t start on the third try, I’ll break her and I’ll get a new one. My Dyana was like candy… and it still is. I want to repair everything, no matter the cost. Whatever happens, I’ll keep driving… I have nothing else to make a living from.
I won’t push carts out of spite. People would say: Look, he spent 30 days in jail, and he doesn’t dare to drive his Dyana anymore. Fuck it! Jail is for humans. Jail is for men, not for women!
MALIC (off): There’s also a jail for women.
ADEM: If they take my Dyana, I’ll get myself a horse and a carriage and I’ll keep working. But I don’t think they’ll let me do even that. XHEVXHET: They won’t allow you to go downtown with a horse carriage. ADEM: No, I’ll go here in the suburbs… but they’ll still make problems. XHEVXHET: What about red lights? ADEM: You have to stop at red lights, of course. IMER’S wife (off): Whose lighter is this?
Starring: Adem Smajli, Imer Saciri, Tus Saciri, Behar Saciri, Zvonko Demirovic, Goran Kamberovic
Also starring: SMAJLI Sadbera, Sanija, Emran, Hisen SACIRI Djulja, Ljumnora, Sultan; Spen, Naza, Kema, Sukrija, Samanta, Igzo; Dzevdzet; Malic, Tarzan, Samson; Kodi & Jelica Demirovic, Dalibor Memisevic, Sladjan & Boban Salimovic, Dragan Destanovic, Kadrija Kamberovic, Alija Abazaj
Written, directed, edited, filmed and produced by Boris Mitic
Sound : Dragutin Cirkovic, Milan Kricka Credits: Aleksandar Stevanovic
Thanks: Bojan Zivojinovic, Petar Putnikovic, Aleksandar Banjac, TarabuKael, Medialink, Soul Flower
“Diane” / Husker Du / © BMI – SST, 1983. “Dirty Diana” / Micheal Jackson / © BMI – Epic Records, 1987. “Diana” / Paul Anka / © BMI – ABC Paramount, 1957. “Dijana ljubavi” / Fehrid Avdic / © Mangafic-Garcevic. BONUS : “Dyana’s chochek” / © Bane Novkovic Orchestra, 2003.
ADEM: In this film we used the music of Husker Du, Ferid Avdic, Paul Anka, Micheal Jackson — he’s one of us— and I myself played some tarabuk.
Belgrade, summer & fall of 2003
Instructions for making Dyanas available on www.dribblingpictures.com