The Burning Bishop

Documentary film takes us through the life of Archbishop of Ljubljana Anton Vovk. Two sets of interviewees shine a light on the time after World War II when communist regime took over in Yugoslavia. Bishop is remembered by many for his virtues, but mostly the event in 1952 made his figure remembered. Film speaks not just with words but many symbolic motifs, thus painting a picture of Anton Vovk with a broad set of documentary means.

Through nighttime interrogations the communist regime persecuted Anton Vovk mentally and physically, although he had not cooperated with the Axis forces during the war and had promoted Slovene identity. On 20 January 1952 Vovk was doused with gasoline and set on fire at the train station in Novo Mesto. At the time, the Slovene press in Yugoslavia and abroad denied that Vovk had been burned at all or stated that he had suffered only minor injuries. In fact, his burning clothing, especially his celluloid clerical collar, caused serious burns to his neck and face.

Despite all his troubles, Vovk remained remarkably happy as an Archbishop. He was very popular with people, who responded well to his charismatic nature and his robust physical appearance. They saw in him a true spiritual shepherd and a defender of the faith. His sermons filled people with enthusiasm, and with his deep voice he had no trouble in commanding any venue. For his bishop's motto, Vovk chose the words: In Domino Confido - I trust in the Lord.

Film festivals:
- Festival slovenskega filma, September 2017, official selection
- Christian Family Film Festival, Ellington, NY, USA, October 2017, award of merit
- Christian Film Festival, Newport News, VA, USA, December 2017, best documentary
- International Christian Film Festival, Orlando, FL, USA, May 2018, official selection
- International New York Film Festival, NY, USA, June 2018, official selection
- Underground Film Festival, Germany, May-November 2018, official selection

The Burning Bishop

Year of production: 2017
Producer: Nadškofija Ljubljana
Production: Studio Siposh
Executive producer: David Sipoš
Screenwriter: Rok Andres
Compser, sound designer: Tim Žibrat
Animations: Vid Planinc
Illustrations: Rok Malovrh
Director, director of photography: David Sipoš