Three (1965 film)

Last updated
Tri Poster.jpg
Directed by Aleksandar Petrović
Written byAleksandar Petrović (screenplay)
Antonije Isaković (story)
Starring Bata Živojinović
Kole Angelovski
Stole Aranđelović
Dragomir Bojanić
Milan Jelić
Cinematography Tomislav Pinter
Edited by Mirjana Mitić
Release date
  • 1965 (1965)
Running time
80 min
Country Yugoslavia
Languages Serbo-Croatian

Three (Serbo-Croatian: Tri, Serbian Cyrillic: Три) is a 1965 Yugoslav film directed by Aleksandar Petrović. It was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film at the 39th Academy Awards. [1] The script, written by Petrović, is based on the motifs of the short story collection Fern and Fire by Antonije Isaković. The film belongs to the Yugoslav Black Wave movement.



In April 1941, the Third Reich invaded the Kingdom of Yugoslavia. The protagonist, Miloš, faces death on three separate occasions - at the beginning, during, and at the end of the Second World War. The first story takes place at a train station where, after the outbreak of the April War, mobilized members of the royal army gather and declare a photographer with a speech impediment a German spy and subsequently shoot him. The second story shows Miloš, who joined the partisans, fleeing through a swamp while being pursued by German soldiers. While hiding, Miloš meets a young man who sacrifices himself for him, allowing Miloš to escape. The third story takes place shortly after the liberation of Yugoslavia. Miloš, now an OZNA officer, must decide whether a group of German collaborators, including a girl he likes, will be shot.



Three is an anti-war film. It shows the true face of war - its horrors and its absurdity. The real protagonist of this film is death. In this film, it appears in three forms - as punishment, as victim, and as an expression of the senselessness of war. One needs to be against war, but one needs to be against war as a matter of principle, against anybody who wages war, and also against those who create reasons for war.

Aleksandar Petrović, [2]

The theme of the film is death from the perspective of one man, in three forms: as witness of it, as a victim of it, and as an executor.


A review from the New York Times from 1967 after the film's nomination for Best Foreign Film at the Academy Awards reads:

"War’s utter bestiality and waste, usually illustrated by armies, is brought into sharp focus by a talented few in “Three,” a prize-winning Yugoslav drama that treats its bleak and harrowing subject with a grim but poetic artistry. It had a showing at the New York Film Festival last year, and is now at the Studio Cinema and 72d Street Theaters. The film is mystifyingly abrupt in its transitions, but its effects, physical and intellectual, are unmistakably forceful and chilling. The director, Aleksandar Petrovic, with the aid of a sparse script and stunning photography by Tomislav Pinter, has pointed up war’s ravages as it affects one partisan’s fights in one small sector of the conflict. In each of three events he is part of, needless death brought about by fear, despair and defeat." [3]



Pula Film Festival (1965)

Palenka award at the Acapulco Film Festival [5]

Laceno d'oro award at the Avellino Neorealism Film Festival [5]


Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film in 1966 [6]

Crystal Globe for best film at the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival in 1966 [4]


Poretta Terme International Film Festival (1966) [5]

New York Film Festival (1966) [5]


The Yugoslav Film Archive, in accordance with its authorities based on the Law on Cultural Heritage, declared one hundred Serbian feature films (1911-1999) as cultural heritage of great importance on December 28, 2016. Three is also on that list. [7]

Three was the first Yugoslav movie released in the United States (in 1966). Aleksandar Petrović's films Three and I Even Met Happy Gypsies provided the world an introduction to Yugoslav cinema.

See also

Related Research Articles

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Bata Živojinović</span> Serbian actor

Velimir "Bata" Živojinović was a Yugoslav and Serbian actor and politician. He appeared in more than 340 films and TV series, and is regarded as one of the best actors in former Yugoslavia.

<i>Battle of Neretva</i> (film) 1969 film directed by Veljko Bulajić

Battle of Neretva is a 1969 Yugoslavian epic partisan film. Written by Stevan Bulajić and Veljko Bulajić, and directed by Veljko Bulajić, it is based on the true events of World War II. The Battle of the Neretva was due to a strategic plan for a combined Axis powers attack in 1943 against the Yugoslav Partisans. The plan was also known as the Fourth Enemy Offensive and occurred in the area of the Neretva river in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Cinema of Serbia</span> Filmmaking industry in Serbia

The Cinema of Serbia refers to the film industry and films made in Serbia or by Serbian filmmakers.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Aleksandar Petrović (film director)</span> Yugoslav/Serbian film director (1929-1994)

Aleksandar "Saša" Petrović was a Serbian film director. He was one of the major figures of the Yugoslav Black Wave. Two of his films were nominated for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film: Three in 1966 and I Even Met Happy Gypsies in 1967. The latter was the first movie that presented the existence of Gypsies in society and everyday life; it was also the first full-feature film where Gypsies spoke their own language, Roma. Most roles were interpreted by real Gypsies; this was their movie. "As a child, I observed them and saw in these people faith and irrationality," said Petrović I Even Met Happy Gypsies won the FIPRESCI Prize and the Grand Prize of the Jury at the Cannes Film Festival; it also received a nomination for a Golden Globe. In 1967 Petrović was a member of the jury at the 17th Berlin International Film Festival.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Cinema of Yugoslavia</span> Filmmaking in Yugoslavia

The Cinema of Yugoslavia refers to the film industry and cinematic output of the former Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, which existed from 1945 until it disintegrated into several independent nations in the early 1990s. Yugoslavia was a multi-ethnic, socialist state, and its cinema reflected the diversity of its population, as well as the political and cultural shifts that occurred during its existence.

<i>I Even Met Happy Gypsies</i> 1967 Yugoslav film

I Even Met Happy Gypsies is a 1967 Yugoslav film by Serbian director Aleksandar Petrović. The film is centered on Romani people's life in a village in northern Vojvodina, but it also deals with subtler themes such as love, ethnic and social relationships. Beside Bekim Fehmiu, Olivera Vučo, Bata Živojinović and Mija Aleksić, film features a cast of Romani actors speaking the Romani language. I Even Met Happy Gypsies is considered one of the best films of the Black Wave in Yugoslav cinema.

<i>It Rains in My Village</i> 1968 film

It Rains in My Village is a 1968 Yugoslav film by Serbian director Aleksandar Petrović, partly inspired by the novel Demons by Fyodor Dostoevsky.

The White Suit is a 1999 Serbian language film directed by Lazar Ristovski. It was a co-production between the United Kingdom and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. It was Yugoslavia's official Best Foreign Language Film submission at the 72nd Academy Awards, but did not manage to receive a nomination.

Special Treatment is a 1980 Yugoslavian drama film directed by Goran Paskaljević. It was entered into the 1980 Cannes Film Festival where Milena Dravić won the award for Best Supporting Actress. The film was also selected as the Yugoslav entry for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 53rd Academy Awards, but was not accepted as a nominee.

<i>Battle of Sutjeska</i> (film) 1973 film by Stipe Delić

Battle of Sutjeska is a 1973 Yugoslav partisan film directed by Stipe Delić. It tells the story of the famous Battle of Sutjeska, the greatest engagement of the Yugoslav Partisan War. The film is one of the most expensive ever made in Yugoslavia. It was selected as the Yugoslav entry for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 46th Academy Awards, but was not accepted as a nominee. It was also entered into the 8th Moscow International Film Festival where it won a Special Prize.

<i>The Dream</i> (1966 film) 1966 film

The Dream or Dream is a 1966 Yugoslav war film written and directed by Serbian director Puriša Đorđević. It is the second entry in Đorđević's wartime tetralogy, the other three being The Girl (1965), The Morning (1967) and Noon (1968). It belongs to the Yugoslav Black Wave movement. The film entered the competition at the 17th Berlin International Film Festival.

<i>The Master and Margaret</i> (1972 film) 1972 film

The Master and Margaret is a 1972 Italian-Yugoslav film directed by Aleksandar Petrović, loosely based on Mikhail Bulgakov's 1940 novel of the same name, although it mainly focuses on the parts of the novel set in 1920s Moscow.

<i>Death and the Dervish</i> (film) 1974 film

Death and the Dervish is a 1974 Yugoslav film directed by Zdravko Velimirović based on the novel of the same name by Meša Selimović.

Kozara is a 1962 Yugoslav film directed by Veljko Bulajić. It is a well known film of the partisan film subgenre popular in Yugoslavia in the 1960s and 1970s and depicts events surrounding the Battle of Kozara.

Yugoslav Black Wave is a blanket term for a Yugoslav film movement of the 1960s and early 1970s. Notable directors include Dušan Makavejev, Žika Pavlović, Aleksandar Petrović, Želimir Žilnik, Mika Antić, Lordan Zafranović, Mića Popović, Đorđe Kadijević and Marko Babac. Their films are known for their non-traditional approach to film making, their dark humor and their critical examination of socialist Yugoslav society.

Hajrudin "Šiba" Krvavac was a Bosnian film director most notable for directing movies from the Partisan film genre during 1960s and 70s.

Great Transport is a 1983 Yugoslav action–drama war film directed by Veljko Bulajić. The film was selected as the Yugoslav entry for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 56th Academy Awards, but was not accepted as a nominee. Great Transport stars James Franciscus, Steve Railsback, Robert Vaughn, Helmut Berger, and Edward Albert.

The End of the War is a 1984 Yugoslav war film directed by Dragan Kresoja. The film was selected as the Yugoslav entry for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 57th Academy Awards, but was not accepted as a nominee.

<i>The Man from the Oak Forest</i> 1964 film

The Man from the Oak Forest is a 1964 Yugoslav film directed by Mića Popović. It belongs to the Yugoslav Black Wave movement.


  1. "The 39th Academy Awards (1967) Nominees and Winners". Retrieved 2011-11-09.
  2. "Tri". (in Serbian). Retrieved 22 June 2020.
  3. "'Three,' a Yugoslav War Film, Arrives". NYT . 1967. Retrieved 2 June 2020 via New York Times.
  4. 1 2 3 Three (1965) - Awards - IMDb , retrieved 2023-09-17
  5. 1 2 3 4 5 "Three – Aleksandar Petrović". 2014-01-12. Retrieved 2023-09-17.
  6. "1967 | | Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences". Retrieved 2023-09-17.
  7. "Сто српских играних филмова (1911-1999) проглашених за културно добро од великог значаја". (in Serbian). Retrieved 2023-09-17.