Aljoša Žerjal: "No al bilinguismo"



Aljoša Žerjal, a Slovenian, born in Škedenj in Trieste in 1928, has been dutifully immortalizing the outside world through a lens since he was young. The amateur filmmaker, who in the past mostly shot on eight-millimeter tape, achieved great success with his recordings and received many awards for them, and above all, he documented the affinity of everyday life in a sensitive way. In doing so, he often brought the exoticism from his travels around the world into the consciousness of the local audience.

In 2003, as part of the Tribute to a Vision festival, he received the Darko Bratina award, whereby his diverse oeuvre was additionally presented to a wider audience in the cross-border area. In 2018, Kinoatelje in Gorica proudly accepted the entire life work from Aljoša Žerjal as a gift and for permanent preservation. This includes unedited material, completed productions, filmstrip (Super8, 8 mm, 16 mm) and DVD.

A box with Žerjal's handwritten note "No al bilingiusmo" appeared right among the unedited material. A slogan that leads many people to think about the ever-present frictions in the Trieste region and the wider border area, where bilingualism is still often a burning issue and action. In addition to the important footage of the far-right protests in Trieste, this "box" reveals much more. Tributes to the fallen, a very meaningful rally in Rižarna, a wide documentation of socio-political folklore, which are rounded off together through still-life depictions of the beauty of the border landscape, its people, architecture (Karst, Veneto...).

In the process of digitizing the eight-millimeter tape, 104 minutes of important documentary material was created under the watchful guidance of young experts at Camera Ottica in Gorizia, which revalues ​​Žerjal's work and offers the viewer an insight into the tradition and motivation of the frontier moment.