A box-office hit in Croatia and winner of several festival prizes, this often hilarious 1999 comedy begins when some aging comrades on an isolated island think they've seen the ghost of Marshal Tito, Yugoslavia's former dictator, at a funeral. Rumors spread, prompting more sightings—and attracting tourists. The mayor, who also owns the only hotel, sees the possibilities: “We'll have Honecker's ghost brought in . . . Stalin's . . . Mao's.” His scheme is advanced by a mental patient who thinks he actually is Tito, and soon some aging partisans, convinced that their revered leader lives, mount a coup to restore him to power. Director Vinko Bresan satirizes capitalism and socialism alike, capturing the social and ideological chaos that accompanied the collapse of communism and the breakup of the former Yugoslavia. Also known as Marshal Tito's Spirit. 97 min.
By Fred Camper