In the piece The Song of Soldier on Watch (WW3 Lili Marlene) Branko Milisković seems to incarnate both, the figure of the mythical heroine from the song as well as the figure of the soldier who wrote it. In 1915 Hans Leip, a German poet and teacher called to join the army and fight on Eastern front during World War I, wrote lyrics for the song than entitled “The Girl Under the Lantern” which later on, especially during the World War II, became extremely popular by the name “Lili Marlene”. During the Nazi occupation of Yugoslavia in 1941, Radio Belgrade became Soldatensender Belgrad and broadcasted programs to entertain the German armed forces. This emotional, melancholic and rather seductive song was played every night at 21:57 and was also very popular on both sides of the front line. “Lili Marlene’’ was the song of which one thought it could lead to an individual and collective resistance of the soldiers on the front, banned many times.
Branko Milisković creates performances that combine forms of cabaret, opera, theatre, photography, and film. Milisković pulls on pieces of history, often political and dealing with a sense of collective or universal memory. Through a character (construct), he delivers a space with familiar emotions. The Song of a Soldier on Watch (WW3 Lili Marlene) is a performance that deals with anticipation and the torment of waiting for a beloved person to return.
In an empty room I will be waiting for you…ready
Come in quietly…close the door…come closer to me
Surrender to my song…entirely