Stage 3

Why “Phantom Thread” Is Propaganda for Toxic Masculinity

My first experience of cinema was watching “Battle of Neretva” (“Bitka na Neretvi”), a Yugoslav-liberation-war spectacle starring Yul Brynner, Franco Nero, and Orson Welles, as well as domestic actors known to Yugoslav viewers by their first names (Milena, Bata, Boris, Smoki). The movie is about the 1943 battle in which our great leader Tito and his partisans outwitted the Germans and their local collaborators, crossing the river Neretva to escape encirclement. A major co-production, it received substantial funding from America and from fifty-eight Yugoslav state companies, plus logistical support from the Yugoslav People’s Army, which provided ten thousand soldiers as extras and built a steel bridge and a couple of villages to be destroyed in battle scenes. The première took place in Sarajevo, on November 29, 1969, and was attended by Comrade Tito himself, who was accompanied by Sophia Loren and Omar Sharif. Afterward, Tito declared the representation of the great battle very realistic: