Production year: 2004
Duration: 70 minuta
Technique: super 16 mm transferred to 35 mm, color
After spending several years in Germany as a refugee, Mira returns home to the small village of Duvnjaci in the Dalmatian inlands. She arrives home pregnant, completely shocking her parents. Her father Jozo comes up with the idea of telling everybody that Mira is a widow. He plans to find her a new husband as soon as possible. With a little help from a matchmaker, several potential suitors visit their house. Her parents dislike the war veteran Ćaćo because he is slightly deranged, as well as their neighbor Begić because he is Muslim. The best candidate is Mate, who clears mines on nearby fields. When Mira gives birth, a new problem arises - the baby’s father was Asian! Kate and Jozo have a hard time dealing with the mockery of their neighbors. Soon, Mira decides to take the child with her and leave her parents’ home. She comes back after a few years to visit her dying father. Finally, on his death bed, Jozo accepts the fact that his grandson is different.
Daria Lorenci (Mira), Filip Radoš (Jozo), Vera Zima (Kate), Vedran Mlikota (Veliki), Luka Petrušić (Marko), Ivica Bašić (Mate), Yong Long Dai (boy), Josip Zovko (Ćaćo), Davor Svedružić (Begić), Zoran Ćubrilo (doctor), Jadranka Ðokić (Zorica), Barbara Vicković (Nurse), Mate Ćurić (Krule), Milivoj Gaće (Jović), Branimir Rakić (Tadija), Ivan Brkić (Ljubo), Jolanda Tudor (Mare), Trpimir Jukić (young man), Boženko Dedić (waiter), Marija Škaričić (woman 1), Ecija Ojdanić (woman 2), Emil Glad (sick man), Jadranka Matković (Jehovah’s witness)
Country of production:
Republic of Croatia
Maro Merket, Ognjen Sviličić
Ognjen Sviličić’s tragic comedy is one of the best films of recent Croatian cinema. It magnificently juxtaposes the conservativeness and self-containment of a small provincial town and the openness of the rest of the world that starts to creep in. Without any illusions about changing this, the film focuses on a rather radical dramatic motif - the birth of a baby of a different skin in such an environment and the reaction that it causes. Sviličić’s directing style is economic and playful, his humor subtle, characters discretely but effectively profiled and his work with actors outstanding. Moreover, Daria Lorenci and Vera Zima won Golden Arenas at the Pula Film Festival -- but it is rather a shame that Filip Radoš and Vedran Mlikota missed theirs.
The Ministry of Culture rejected this screenplay twice and ultimately Sviličić filmed it as a TV production. The film was shot on location near Vrlika and it only later received the necessary funds to transfer it to 35 mm tape. The film achieved great success internationally; it was shown in the accompanying program Forum at the Berlin Film Festival, and was part of the official program at the prestigious Sarajevo Film festival. At the Warsaw International Film Festival, whose jury was presided by Alan Parker, it won the Grand Prix. The American company Lifesize Entertainment bought the rights for international distribution of this film.
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