I Miss Sonja Henie (1971)

Karpo Godina

I Miss Sonja Henie Karpo Godina Slovenia/Macedonia35mm > digital16 min1971

Godina assembled a motley crew of international and domestic festival guests: Tinto Brass, Puriša Đorđević, Miloš Forman, Buck Henry, Dušan Makavejev, Paul Morrissey, Bogdan Tirnanić, and Frederick Wiseman. Every night after the official festival screenings and talks, they went to a tiny apartment with a 35mm camera fixed in a corner. Godina challenged each of his celebrated guests to create a short film, following a set of simple rules: one room, one camera position, no zooms, tilts or pans, a couple of minutes each. And in every short the words “I Miss Sonja Henie,” a famous quote from the Snoopy cartoons, had to be voiced. The rest was left entirely to individual imaginations. The result: I Miss Sonja Henie (1972), a conceptual masterpiece of absurdist black humour, seven distinctively different variations on a ludicrous theme, a cinephile’s wet dreams. – Jurij Meden

An essential figure of Yugoslav cinema, Karpo Godina infused the radical Black Wave of the 1960s with an irrepressible expressive freedom—squarely targeted against all forms of repression—and thrived long after the end of Titoism and the breakup of Yugoslavia in civil war. For more than 30 years, the half-Slovenian, half-Macedonian filmmaker has brought a playfully anarchical spirit to the poetics and politics of film, moving breathlessly between fiction and nonfiction in his avant-garde shorts of the 1960s and ’70s and his feature films of the 1980s and ’90s. – MoMA

Streaming Details

This film is available to stream globally.

Program Partners

This film is co-presented with the Slovenian Cinematheque.

Image credits: all artworks, stills, and portraits courtesy of the artist © Karpo Godina, the Slovenian Cinematheque, and the Austrian Film Museum. Special thanks to Darja Hlavka Godina, Jurij Meden, and Kaja Bohorč.

about the artist

Karpo Godina (Slovenia/Macedonia) is a filmmaker, teacher, and political activist born in Skopje in 1943 to father Viktor Aćimović, a photographer, journalist, bohemian, and revolutionary, and mother Milena Godina, an actress and co-founder of the Macedonian State Theatre. He spent his childhood and adolescence between Skopje and Maribor. He studied film at the Ljubljana Academy for Theatre, Radio, Film and Television. Godina’s films contain an all-permeating sense of playfulness and joy, and a continuous display of unhinged freedom of expression, squarely targeted against all forms of repression. He has worked on 50+ films since the early 1960s, and is considered one of the key representatives of Black Wave cinema, a socio-critical movement that emerged in Yugoslavia in the early 1960s. Extraordinarily prolific, as a cinematographer Godina has shot numerous films that have helped define 20th century European Cinema, including Early Works (1969) and Black Film (1971), both by his long-term friend and collaborator Želimir Žilnik, along with other challenging and subversive titles such as The Role of My Family in the World Revolution (1971) and Life of a Shock Force Worker (1972) by Bato Čengić. His own films, including Universal Sun (1967), Healthy People for Fun (1971), The Raft of the Medusa (1980), Red Boogie (1982), and Artificial Paradise (1990), have been exhibited widely at festivals, museums, and galleries internationally, including Cannes, Berlinale, BFI London Film Festival, Museum of Modern Art, Rotterdam International Film Festival, Centre de Cultura Contemporània de Barcelona, Stanford University, NTU Centre for Contemporary Art Singapore, Slovenian Cinematheque, Austrian Film Museum, Media City Film Festival, National Gallery of Art (Washington), and Lisbon Cinematheque, among others. He received the Prešeren Fund Award (1980), and Grand Prešeren Award for Lifetime Achievement (2006), Slovenia’s highest decoration in the fields of artistic and scientific pursuit. Media City Film Festival’s Chrysalis Fellowship is providing support for a forthcoming feature created in collaboration with Želimir Žilnik. He lives and works with his wife Darja in Slovenia.