Fistra, age 28, is the lead singer of AK-47, and anti-fascist punk band.
Lead singer of the band AK47, tireless organizer of the punk and hardcore scenes, album and zine publisher, Fistra was himself first politicized by the lyrics of the anarchist punk shows he heard in illegally squatted factories as a young teenager. Aged 28 when we began to film this documentary, he was already notorious on the radical activist and alternative music scenes of the former Yugoslavia.
Knowing that his sales and concert proceeds fund a significant portion of activist initiatives, I assumed they also served as Fistra’s primary income. But during the first year I knew him, I ran into him by chance outside a local unemployment office. With his black hoodie, patched camouflage pants, and dreadlocks, Fistra stood out among the small crowd of jobless. He expressed relief that he, along with four other laborers, had received temp assignments unloading trucks. As he is more guarded than Pero—and has never invited me to his home, or spoken at great length about his personal life—I was pleased when Fistra also disclosed that his mother, who raised him after his father passed away, has lately been able to secure him shifts operating a forklift for Kraš, her long-time employer and Croatia’s largest confectionary.
Watch the video here to meet Fistra, but you won’t really have a sense of him until you’ve seen him on stage, shredding his vocal chords against the coarse refrain of one of his songs.
“Freedom begins with the death of the state, Freedom begins with the death of the state.”
The book’s composite character “Rimi” has much in common with Fistra.