The story takes place in
The leading character is a Montenegrin who was once an abandoned child and was given the name Gruban Malić. Gruban is an antihero. He owns a pub frequented by Italian soldiers, not only for drinks, but also because of the whores. Gruban looks upon this with sorrow, for he regards himself a revolutionary communist, an enemy of the Italian fascists. To his anger and frustration the Italians don’t take him seriously, even though he walks around with guns and grenades and paints in red communist slogans and symbols. In his naivety he gives financial support to strangers posing as executives of the Communist Party. He wants to join the partisans in the mountains. During his departure he blows up a bridge by chance. Suddenly he is enemy number one of the Italians. He flees into the mountains. But the partisans don’t take him seriously either. They don’t know him and they don’t trust him. He is chased away. Finally, the Italians catch him and return him to the village as a prisoner tied to a donkey.
The tragedy of Gruban’s life is that nobody did take him seriously. But justice came at last. The International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia in The Hague added Gruban to the list of wanted war criminals! He would have abused women in the notorious Omarska camp. It turned out to be the result of a practical joke by the Serbian war reporter Nebojša Jevrić, who wrote a book about this farce: Hero on a donkey goes to the Hague. In 1998 Gruban was removed from the wanted list.