Xi says films of Bata part of our youth

Updated: 2016-06-21 08:12

(China Daily USA)

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The Chinese people cherish the memory of the Serbian actor Velimir "Bata" Zivojinovic very much, said Chinese President Xi Jinping in Belgrade on Saturday.

On hearing of Xi's visit to Serbia, the actor's widow insisted on meeting Xi at Saturday's banquet hosted by President Tomislav Nikolic.

That is "because Bata loved China, and both of us liked to be with the Chinese people," said Julijana Lula Zivojinovic.

When Nikolic introduced the theme tune of the movie Walter Defends Sarajevo, in which Zivojinovic played the role of Walter, Xi said: "I remember."

Xi says films of Bata part of our youth

" Yugoslavian films such as Walter Defends Sarajevo and The Bridge used to be very popular in China," he said. "The movies evoked people's patriotism and were part of the youth of our generation." Zivojinovic, the leading actor in both films, gained great popularity in China for depicting charismatic and heroic guerrillas.

At the end of the banquet, the two presidents came up to Julijana, and she warmly shook Xi's hand.

"When reports of Bata's death reached China, the Chinese people missed him very much," Xi said.

The famous icon of Yugoslavian film passed away on May 22 at the age of 83.

When introduced to China in the 1970s, the movies Walter Defends Sarajevo and The Bridge, telling stories of Yugoslavian people's resistance in the World War II, caused a sensation.

And, according to Xinhua News Agency, at the opening ceremony of an international tourism fair in February, the tourism authorities of Belgrade played a tourism video featuring Zivojinovic to attract more Chinese tourists to Belgrade. This was the last time Zivojinovic took part in a public activity.

When visiting Serbia in December 2014, Premier Li Keqiang met Ljubisa Samardzic, another actor in the film Walter Defends Sarajevo.

(China Daily USA 06/21/2016 page3)