Synopsis “The Conversation”
The story centers around a real meeting which occurred on June 4th, 1945 between the newly anointed President of Yugoslavia, Josip Broz Tito and the head of the Catholic Church of Croatia Alojzije Stepinac. Both figures are controversial in their own right and both left an indelible mark on former Yugoslavia as no one else has in its very long and even bloodier history. The story is based on an alleged actual transcript unearthed of the meeting and the words spoken in it. The entire story, the actual duration takes place as it did in real life, an hour and a half meeting between the two.
Tito, who was taught in a Stalin lead Soviet Union is a staunch, hard nosed, relentless believer in communism which has just come into place as Yugoslavia is formed again following its failed first attempt in the early 1900’s as a Kingdom. Stepinac on the other hand is a very reserved, calm, somewhat cold man who is the youngest Catholic Archbishop Croatia ever had and who later on becomes the youngest Cardinal ever appointed within the Catholic Church by the Vatican in its history. Tito’s desire is to have absolute and complete control of anything and everything within Yugoslavia and since Croatia is a very crucial republic within Yugoslavia, Tito obviously wants to have it under its control. The Catholic Church has always been the one identifying symbol which brought all Croatians together as a people. Tito’s desire is to have the Croatian Church break away from The Vatican, becoming in essence an independent Catholic Church. The last person who in history broke away from The Vatican was Henry VIII, forming the Church of England so the historical significance of this meeting is immense. Tito is relentless in his pursuit to have Archbishop Stepinac give in to his request but the Archbishop is as stubborn not to give in. The conversation itself is a bit of a chess match, going back and forth the entire time, one man trying to outdo, outsmart the other. The ultimate outcome of the meeting between the two shaped the history of both men and the country of Croatia in ways which to this day remain relevant.