The Faker

(The Counterfeiter)
by Goran Marković

For himself, however, there seems to be an unexpected turn for the better. He is released and allowed to return to work. As it turns out, the only reason he was spared worse treatment is that those deciding his case attained their positions of power with the help of his forgeries, and now they feared that this would come to light. But the world is no longer the same for Anđelko. He is asked to do forgeries again, this time by his wife, but he can’t do it anymore. When he is then nominated to receive a medal “for his service to the people”, he enters a near-empty cinema and blows himself up before a laudation to Tito. The play deals with the loss of social ideals and utopias, and with the decline of morality that accompanied the destruction of the belief in a “united Yugoslavia”. The origins of the disintegration of Yugoslavia, according to Marković, are to be found in the era of Tito. This opinion, held by the author, is shared by one part of the Serbian population; the other part sees Tito’s death as the cause of the break-up. The topics of betrayal and corruption, which pose a major problem in the Balkan countries to this day, also give the play an even greater topical relevance. The new state is built on a foundation that is in part made up of forged school reports and certificates – a problem that can hardly be rectified in the years to come. The play unostatiously looks beyond its own historical confines and immanently poses the question: Won’t subsequent generations ultimately be worse because they no longer believe in anything at all? The eldest son, who follows in his father’s counterfeiting footsteps, shares none of his father’s good intentions, idealism or moral scruples. The younger son’s first name is Slobodan, the last name Milosevic.

A text by Jens Groß