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Video: The 'Beogradski Fantom'

Written by Kurt | Saturday, 16 October 2010 00:00

beogradski_fantom2The what? Well, the english translation of the title is the 'Belgrade Phantom', you might have heard of him. Many have, certainly if you come from Yugoslavia. The Belgrade Phantom is a true story of car thief Vlada Vasiljevic who repeatedly managed to keep the police busy in the late 1970s by racing around the streets of Belgrade in a white Porsche 911 Targa. Last year a documentary film was made on the subject, directed by Serbian director Jovan B. Todorovic. Even if you can't understand any Serbian, it's a good watch, even if it's only because of the godess that is the white 911 SC Targa.


Forget about the human actors and commentators in the film, the best actor in this film is the wonderful Porsche 911 SC Targa which accelerates and slides through the streets of Belgrade from on end to another like a Russian figure skater. Even though those shots were apparently shot using one camera, the camera work is impressive. We see the curvy body of the white Targa from the top, the sides and the front. Vasiljevic was just a small crook but apparently had a good taste in cars, an expensive taste in cars, a hobby which was difficult to endulge on in the communist country of dictator Tito at the time. Running away for the police made him a bit of a hero at the time, thousands of people would gather on the streets to see Vasiljevic literally driving the police mad night after night. They just couldn't catch him. Obvious really as the police was driving around in slow, communist, Zastavas. Vasiljevic drove rings around them in his flat-6 hyper-Porsche (compared to a Zastava that is). Even when he started to inform them where exactly he was going to run away. We found the following music video/trailer of the film with some beautiful yugoslavian/serbian music added to it, it's well worth a watch:

Further on in the film the police gets help from a special agent with a Ford Granada to turn things around. Which works as the Porsche and Vasiljevic bump into a police blocade while trying to run away once again. Until today it really stays a mystery why Vlada Vasiljevic put up this whole show. At the time Tito was out of the country visiting Cuba, some say Vasiljevic did it to put the leader and his whole system to shame in a symbolic way while Tito was abroad. Other myths say that he hated cops and wanted to make them society's laughing stock, others say he did it for a girl. The rumour even goes he did it because he was bored in the communist country that was Yugoslavia. Where did he get the 911 Targa; well, that remains another myth. In the film it has German license plates and that is was stolen from a tennis player while others say it was stolen from the Danish embassy.



Thankfully, though, they made a film about it, it might not be historically correct in every way but that seems logical with the amount of myths surrounding this story. The film is available with english subtitles at various online stores but for those who want to have a sneak peek go onto youtube where the whole film is watchable in various parts beginning with the following:

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