The vertiginous rise and fall of the Slovene informational technology giant which found itself behind the scenes of political intrigue and secret service battle at the pinnacle of cold war.
It’s 1978, a group of electrical engineering, classmates, established an IT company “Iskra Delta computers” in Ljubljana, Slovenia. In the USA, this was the time of Bill Gates, Gary Kildall, Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak.
Janez Škrubej, the only managing director of Iskra Delta Computers, is convinced that the last battle for the informational technology, the cold war, was being fought in Slovenia, former Yugoslavia. The documentary uncovers the background of this war.
The company saw a meteoric rise and constructed the first and world’s largest computer network in China, in 1985.
When the company’s technology became too powerful and too big, it attracted the attention of the CIA, which wanted to prevent the enemy from accessing it. On the other side of the front, the KGB saw Iskra Delta Computers as a final opportunity to make up for Soviet IT shortcomings. The company was also in trouble with the Yugoslav secret police UDBA and the local authorities due to their shortsightedness, corruption, and proverbial Slovene jealousy.
On top of it all, Yugoslavia was facing a bloody breakup.
The 1980s – which, in Yugoslavia, started with the death of Josip Broz Tito and ended with the country’s dissolution, while Europe saw the end of bipolarity, demise of socialism, and the beginning of European integration – represent one of the most exciting periods in contemporary European history. They were a period when the old had not yet withered away, while the new had not yet formed. At this time, one of the most successful economic endeavours took place. The enthusiasm behind the contemporaneous post hippy gigs
inspired me during the creation of this incredible story.
Directed and written by: JURIJ GRUDEN
Based on the book «The Cold War for Information Technology: The Inside Story» by Janez Škrubej
Producer: IDA WEISS
Co-producers: TANJA GRUDEN
Editing: MILOŠ KALUSEK
Cinematography: RADOVAN ČOK
Sound design: JULIJ ZORNIK
Sound recordist: VJEKOSLAV MIKEZ
Documentary/ Tags: Information Technology, Computers, History, Yugoslavia, USA, Soviet Union, China, India
Length: 85 min.
Language: Slovenian, English, Chinese, Russian, German
Format: DCP, colour, 25fps
Year Of Production: 2020
Country of production: Slovenia
Original title: Iskre v času – Svetovni računalniški podvig