Leptirica (1973)

Yugoslavia, 15 April
16mm film, colour, 1.33:1
mono, Serbo-Croat

A Yugoslavian horror television film directed by Djordje Kadijevic.

Plot Summary

In a small rural village in the 19th Century, a flour miller is murdered by a hideous creature that comes down from the woods, screeching loudly. The superstitious locals suspect that he's fallen prey to the vampire Sava Savanovic but need a new miller to fend off impending starvation. Strahinja is the obvious choice, a poor young man desperate for the blessing of Živan to marry his daughter Radojka. Although initially reluctant, he accepts the post and spends the night at the watermill where he too is attacked by the creature, though he survives after falling through the floor into a store of flour below. The villagers question an ancient, if terribly hard of hearing wise woman, who directs them to a ditch beneath an elm tree where she believes his grave to be. They finally arrive at the grave and prepare to drive a stake through Savanovic's heart. But they allow a butterfly to escape which spreads the curse of the vampire to another host…


Director: Đjorđje Kadijević
© [not given on screen]
Radiotelevizija Beograd
Commissioning Editor: Vasilije Popović
Script Written by: Đjorđje Kadijević
Based on the Story Posle devedeset godina by: Milovan Glišić
Dramaturg: Bojana Andrić
Director of Photography: Branko Ivatovic
Editor: Neva Habić [real name: Neva Paskulovic-Habić]
Music Contributor: Milan Tričković
Sound Recordist: Vlada Dodig [real name: Vladimir Dodig]
Costumes: Mirjana Kuruzović
Make-up: Lepa Prvanović [real name: Leposava Prvanović]
Art Director: Stevo Škorić

Mirjana Nikolić (Radojka)
Petar Boźović (Strahinja)
Slobodan Perović (Zivan ‘Dusman')
Vasja Stanković (Kmet)
Aca Stojković [real name: Aleksandar Stojković] (Purko)
Tanasije Uzunović (Pop)
Ivan Đjurđjević (Sredoje)
Boban Petrović [real name: Bogoljub Petrović] (Ceba)
Branko Petković
Toma Kuruzović (Vule)

Alternative Titles

The She-Butterfly
– Russia
– alternative title

Extracts included in
Woodlands Dark and Days Bewitched: A History of (2021)