In 1930, the publishing house Cankarjeva založba announced that the war novel Doberdob by Prežihov Voranc will be published. It describes the tragic stories of the soldiers that fought in the Doberdò plateau where according to historians many Slovenian soldiers battling during World War I bled to death. Writer Prežihov Voranc, with a real name Lovro Kuhar, who was 22 at the time, also fought in there.
The novel was only published in 1940. During the ten years after its publication was first announced the writer rewrote it three times because the manuscript vanished in strange circumstances several times. While Prežihov Voranc was writing the novel he was also politically active. He was one of the first communists in Slovenia. In 1937 he even became secretary of the Central Committee, which means he was ranked second in the hierarchy of the Yugoslav Communist Party. He was an agent of the Comintern, a traveller who spoke five languages, and he was in touch with several prominent politicians of the period. At the same time he remained personally modest, he kept believing in common man and held values that were less and less consistent with ever so rigorous communist' ideology.
The novel Doberdob was written in the period when Voranc was mainly living underground due to his active life in politics. The novel is regarded to be the only Slovenian autobiographic novel with World War I topic.


Prežihov Voranc / Lovro Kuhar

(10.8.1893 – 18.2.1950)

Prežihov Voranc was born in Podgora at Kotlje where he also attended primary school. Listening to his mother's stories, he developed his talent for story-telling. Since his father didn't allow him to go to high school he began studying on his own. In 1919 he found a job as a steelworker and later as a clerk at the Ravne ironworks. In 1930 he had to go into hiding because he actively participated in the illegal Yugoslav Communist Party. He lived in Vienna, Paris and Moscow. As an agent of the Comintern he travelled around Europe and was arrested several times on account of his communist activities. Gradually he became one of the leaders of the Communist Party of Yugoslavia. After his dispute with Josip Broz Tito in 1939 he illegally returned to Slovenia and secretly lived in Ljubljana. Until April 1941, when World War II broke out in Yugoslavia, he withdrew from politics and devoted all his time to writing.
When the Liberation Front was founded he reactivated himself, joined several Party boards and took part in various committees of the Liberation Front. In the beginning of 1943 he was arrested by the Anti-Communist Volunteer Militia and then handed over to the Italians. When Italy capitulated the Germans took him to the Begunje prison, and later on he was interrogated at the Gestapo headquarters in Berlin. During the interrogations the Germans offered him to become president of the marionette Slovene country that would include the regions of Ljubljana, Littoral, Upper Carniola and Styria, but Voranc rejected the offer. He was then sent to the concentration camp of Sachenhausen. In January 1945 he was transferred to Mauthausen. After the war he returned to his home village.
Source: Wikipedia

Press reviews

„The documentary film Doberdob, a Novel by a Rebel successfully gives a comprehensive portrait of the period between the two world wars and after 1945, introducing an exciting story with many twists that – according to Martin Turk – we wouldn't be willing to believe if it was turned into a feature film.“

Matej Juh, Radio Slovenija

„The documentary Doberdob, a Novel by a Rebel (...), filmed by the author and director Martin Turk, determinedly puts Prezihov Voranc right back into the Slovene historical memory as late as 65 years after the writer's death.(...). The film Doberdob, a Novel by a Rebel is an exceptional example of documentarian craft; besides, it includes suspense and a poetic, even open ending.“

Ženja Leiler, Delo

„The contents of this documentary, i. e. the information it contains, make it both interesting and intriguing enough so that it may give inspiration for at least three feature films.“

Zdenko Vrdlovec, Dnevnik

„The documentary feature presenting various narrators and professionals is not purely the story about a novel but mostly the life story of Prezihov Voranc. And what a cinematic life it was! What an existence!“

Irena Štaudohar, Sobota priloga

„Many narrators, Prezih's grand-daughter Metka PetriC among them, allow the documentary to encompass several dimensions of Prezihov Voranc, thus showing his literary and poetic greatness that surpasses his primary fame as the author of Lilies of the Valley and The Self-Sown.“

Petra Lesjak Tušek, Večer


„The documentary feature acquires additional weight because of the narration of publicly less exposed historians, the final stress being given by the interview with Voranc's grand-daughter Metka Petrič.“

Jožica Hribar, Svobodna beseda

„Basically I find Doberdob, the documentary directed by Martin Turk, to be an excellent film. I feel it is an ideal combination of human narrations regardless of who they were, be it Prezih's grand-daughter, literary historians, Slavonic scholars or anybody who testified as to the fate of Doberdob. Namely, we all know that among all of Prezih's novels the story behind Doberdob was the most remarkable one.“

MIRKO OSOJNIK (Upokojeni kustos Koroškega pokrajinskega muzeja) ob premieri filma na Ravnah na Koroškem

„The director of the film chose an interesting method by creating a docudrama. The film includes a number of illustrations by Damjan Stepancic created especially for the film. As very few photographs of Voranc have been preserved, the director filled the void by using illustrations, so that viewers can catch a glimpse of the historic events more easily. I find the film very interesting. It inspired me to read the novel Doberdob. It has approximately 500 pages but I found it interesting.“


Nika Janjič, 9.a., Novinarski krožek OŠ Loka Črnomelj



METKA PETRIČ, Prežihov Voranc's granddaughter
D.Sc. IGOR GRDINA, Historian ali literary historian
D.Sc. FABIAN HAFNER, Doctor of Slavic Sciences
D.Sc. MIRAN HLADNIK, Literary historian
DARIO FRANDOLIČ, Professor and amateur historian
MIROSLAV OSOJNIK, Expert of the Carinthian Regional Museum



SREČKO KERMAVNER - Prežihov Voranc
ALEŠ VALIČ - Interpretation of passages from the novel "Doberdob, vojni roman slovenskega naroda"

Young Voranc: BORIS CAR


Creative crew

Written and directed by MARTIN TURK
Producer: IDA WEISS
Director Of Photography: RADOVAN ČOK
Music Composer: CHRIS ECKMAN
Illustrations by: DAMIJAN STEPANČIČ
Sound Designer: MIHA JARAMAZ
Sound Recordist: VJEKOSLAV MIKEZ
Costume Designer: EMIL CERAR



Martin Turk

He graduated film at Ljubljana film academy AGRFT. His short film were shown at over sixty international festivals including the Cannes Quinzaine des realisateurs, Angers, Los Angeles, Aspen, Sarajevo, Palm Springs, Edinburgh, and many others and won several national and international awards. In 2012 he completed his first feature film Feed Me With Your Words.




in coproduction with

Project manager: Mateja Erika Smisl
Documentary Department
Editor in Chief: Peter Povh
Producer: Jaka Hemler


Editor In Chief For The Slovenian Program:
Martina Repinc


Technical data

Length: 74 min.
Format: DCP, color
Ratio: 1:1,78 (16:9)
Speed: 25fps
Sound: Stereo
Language: Slovenian (available with English subtitles)
Year Of Production: 2015 (May)


To book a screenining send us e-mail or call our head of distribution Anita Mežnaršič at +386 31 557 175.

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