Balkan Spy

Balkan Spy (Serbian: Балкански шпијун / Balkanski špijun) is a 1984 Yugoslav comedy drama film directed by Serbian directors Dušan Kovačević and Božidar Nikolić.[1]

Balkanski špijun
Balkanski spijun.jpg
DVD cover
Directed byDušan Kovačević
Božidar Nikolić
Produced byMilan Božić
Written byDušan Kovačević (play and screenplay)
StarringBata Stojković
Bora Todorović
Mira Banjac
Zvonko Lepetić
Music byVojislav Kostić
CinematographyBozidar Nikolić
Petar Bata Masić
Edited byAndrija Zafranović
Release date
  • 23 February 1984 (1984-02-23)
Running time
95 minutes


Ilija Čvorović (Bata Stojković), a former Stalinist who spent several years in a prison on Goli otok, is contacted by the police to routinely answer questions about his sub-tenant, Petar Markov Jakovljević (Bora Todorović), a businessman, who spent twenty years living in Paris, and now has returned to Belgrade to open a tailor shop. After only several minutes, Ilija is free to go, however, he starts to suspect that his sub-tenant, Petar, might be a spy. As time passes, Ilija becomes convinced that Petar, a modern man from a capitalist country, represents a great threat to national security and the socialist system, and begins spying on Petar. Ilija's wife Danica (Mira Banjac) is more concerned with the future of their daughter Sonja (Sonja Savić), who, although holding a degree in dentistry, is unable to find a job. After a bout of spying, Ilija phones inspector Dražić (Milan Štrljić), claiming that Petar was meeting with "suspicious people" (actually Petar's intellectual friends), but Dražić does not take him seriously. Ilija decides to take matters into his own hands. He begins his own surveillance operation against the innocent man and his friends. Eventually, he bars his house, buys a guard dog, arms himself with munition, and even gets help from his brother Đura (Zvonko Lepetić), both of them becoming convinced that Petar is a foreign agent.

One evening, Ilija is accidentally hit by a car, which he sees as an attempt of assassination. Soon, even Danica starts to believe Ilija, but Sonja believes that her father is suffering from paranoia. Đuro manages to capture several of Petar's friends, holding them in his basement, beating them up and making them "reveal their terrorist plans". Petar comes to Ilija's house, where he finds Danica. Petar says that he wanted to say goodbye, as he is traveling to New York, and asks Danica why Ilija and his brother are following him, thus revealing that he was aware of their "surveillance operation". Ilija and Đura crash into the house, sending Danica away, tying Petar to a chair, beating him and forcing him to "confess". Petar keeps claiming that he is not a spy, but the brothers do not believe him. Đura leaves the house for a while, to bring one of Petar's friends who "admitted everything", and Ilija continues to interrogate Petar. However, Ilija gets too excited and has a heart attack. Petar manages to get to the phone and call the ambulance, and then, still handcuffed to the chair, he leaves the house to try to catch his plane. Ilija, while in severe pain, phones Đura's house and tells his wife to tell him to "block the airport". He then crawls out of the house, and starts crawling after Petar, with his dog following him.



Balkanski špijun won two awards in 1984 at the Pula Film Festival, the Golden Arena Award and the Best Actor Award, which went to Danilo "Bata" Stojković for his portrayal of Ilija Čvorović.[2]

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