As the year before 2020, 2019 was very popular for science fiction creators. Throughout this year, hundreds of articles (like this and this) have reminded us that classics such as Blade Runner (1982), Race Against Death (1987) and Akira (1988) are set in a dystopian version of the current year, and analyze the accuracy of the predictions they made (flying cars, human clones, World War III …).
However, few have mentioned an almost unknown movie called Goodbye, 20th Century! (‘Goodbye, 20th century’), a Macedonian production premiered in 1998 and was presented for the Academy Awards that year (although he did not get the nomination for Best Foreign Language Film).
The film consists of three interconnected stories set in 1919, 1999 and 2019, the last being the initial segment. Start with the vision of a devastated landscape in the style of “Mad Max”, a warning sign that says “Prohibited access to foreigners” and the title card that says: “Macedonia, the Balkans, year 2019 … Only animals have survived! ” The plot follows the protagonist Kuzman, an immortal man who wanders in search of a way to end his life.
Kuzman's history is framed by the terrible consequences of exacerbated nationalist sentiment – a problem that continues to haunt the region even 20 years after the end of the Yugoslav wars -, with end-of-century hysterical dressings and biblical motives.
The film received very diverse criticisms in the United States and was short on the billboards outside of North Macedonia. At that time, some American critics considered her “extravagant” for her scenes of free sex and violence (on the one hand, the protagonist has relations with her sister in a bathtub full of apples). Its three story structure was considered “confusing and narrow”, with too many dark contextual references for the non-Macedonian viewer. Others recognized that all that could have been a reflection of the atmosphere of desolation, destruction and madness that overwhelmed the region at that time. Another critic said that the film “seemed made by a couple of precocious 13-year-old boys obsessed with incest, bullets and blood.”
The full HD movie is available online for free with English subtitles.
(embed) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3L-tFO530PQ (/ embed)