Vertep in Srem


21’38’’, 2018.


Jelena Jovčić


Muzej Srema, Remorker, Vladimir Perić


Jelena Jovčić, Vladimir Perić


Jelena Jovčić, Vanja Bejin, Slobodan Maksić


Jelena Jovčić


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Vertep is a Christianized variant of the ritual mumming processions that visited individual households during the Christmas holidays, performing a play dedicated to the birth of Jesus Christ. The first appearances in the Srem area are from the first half of the 18th century. According to its morphology, the rite is connected with ancient mumming processions and represents a Christianized form of pre-Christian beliefs and customs. After the Second World War, the practice of vertep was banned along with most other customs whose roots could be connected with religion and the church, however in some places in Srem these processions were organized despite the ban. In the recent decades, the renewal of certain rites and customs has intensified, including the vertep processions.

Jelena Jovčić is author of documentary films and an ethnologist. Her films are screened at festivals such as the Leipzig Festival, Cinema du Reel, Paris, ZagrebDox Festival, MFA Int. Film Festival Illes Balears, and many others where she earned awards. In addition to directing, she also worked as a curator in a museum, as a screenwriter in marketing agencies, a journalist. In recent years, he has been engaged in film education and expert work.