Category: Croatia

CURE – ŽIVOT DRUGE / THE LIFE OF ANOTHER am Mi., 12.12.2018, 19:30h im Kaffee Stark

Im kalten Dezember machen wir uns auf den Weg ins sommerliche Dubrovnik, zurück in die 90er: Teenager Linda hat ihre Jugend in der Schweiz verbracht und kehrt nun, kurz nach der Belagerung, mit ihrem Vater nach Dubrovnik zurück. Sie freundet sich mit Eta an und bald schon verschwimmen die Grenzen. Nach einem folgenschweren Unfall stellt sich die Frage, wer ist wer und wer gehört wo hin?

CURE – ŽIVOT DRUGE / CURE – THE LIFE OF ANOTHER – Schweiz, Kroatien, Bosnien-Herzegovina, 2014 – Andrea Štaka – 83min – OmENGUT

Mi, 12.12.2018, 19:30h, Hinterzimmer Kaffee Stark (Wohlwillstr. 18, St. Pauli)

Mit: Leon Lučev, Mirjana Karanovič, Maria Škarišić et. al.

for further reading (Variety Review):

Film Review: ‘Cure — The Life of Another’


Der nächste Filmclub findet statt am 09.01.2019!

KINO LIKA am Do, 23.06.2016, 21h, (p)ostkartell

KINO LIKA, Kroatien, 2008 – Dalibor Matanić – 122min – OmENGLU

Donnerstag, 23. Juni 2016 // 21h // Ort: (p)ostkartell Büro – Kulturetage Altona, Große Bergstr. 160, 22767 Hamburg

Mit Einführung und Diskussion. Bitte bei Kulturetage klingeln.


Regisseur Dalibor Matanić ist ein alter Hase des kroatischen Kinos und hat gerade mit seinem neuesten Film THE HIGH SUN/ ZVIZDAN (zu Deutsch: MITTAGSSONNE) kräftig in Cannes abgeräumt. Das B-Movie in St. Pauli zeigt am Do, 30.06. um 20h diesen wirklich grandiosen Film über die Frage, was bleibt vom Krieg.
Grund genug, für ein „Dalibor Matanić Double-Feature“: Der SEE Film Club zeigt deshalb einen seinen kontroverseren Filme: die Komödie KINO LIKA.

Basierend auf der gleichnamigen Geschichte des von manchen als Kult-Autor gefeierten Damir Karakaš, der im Film gleich mal als Akkordeon-Spieler auftritt, begeben wir uns in das beschauliche, jedoch auch recht abgelegene Lika. Bergig und von Landwirtschaft geprägt, ticken Leben und Leute hier anders als anderswo. Ein Referendum zum EU-Beitritt sorgt für Aufregung im Dorf: Der nicht tumbe aber talentierte Fußballspieler Mike kämpft mit Schuldgefühlen und dem drohenden Verkauf an einen großen Club, die feiste Olga kämpft mit Ablehnung und Bauer Joso mit seinem Stolz und Wasserknappheit.

Dalibor Matanić beweist sich besonders in seinen Dramen als kritischer Beobachter der Gesellschaft und legt zielsicher den Finger in die Wunde. So bescherte er bereits 2002 mit FINE DEAD GIRLS / FINE MRTVE DJEVOJKE den ersten kroatischen Film, in dem ein lesbischen Pärchen die Hauptrolle spielt (anhand des Titels darf man raten, wie das ausgeht), und in dem berührenden MOTHER OF ASPHALT / MAJKA ASFALTA sucht eine junge Mutter verzweifelt Obdach für sich und ihren kleinen Sohn. In seinen Komödien neigt er zu Klamauk mit Tiefgang.

Oscar entries from SEE

The Academy Awards are around the corner, a  good reason to have a look at the entries from South East Europe!

Bosnia Herzegovina: Sa Mamom /  With Mom, Faruk Loncarevic
The Hollywood Reporter writes: “An emotionally charged portrait of family power struggles, budding sexuality and terminal illness set in contemporary Sarajevo, With Mom is a classy second feature from the young Bosnian writer-director Faruk Loncarevic. ”

Bulgaria: Bulgarian Rhapsody, Ivan Nitchev
Again, the Hollywood Reporter: “Rival filmmakers protested that 74-year-old director Ivan Nitchev is a member of the official body that selected his movie, though he reportedly played no part in the secret ballot process. A solidly middlebrow period piece with an old-fashioned moral message, Bulgarian Rhapsody is perfectly adequate Academy Awards material.” full Article here.

Croatia: Kauboji / Cowboys, Tomislav Mrsic
“it’s a pleasant tale on its own modest terms, one with more laughs than it requires and a refreshing unwillingness to oversentimentalize its de rigueur last-act melodrama. When you have faux-cowpoke Croatians doing a tap dance in formation, who wants tears and a string section?” says the Hollywood Reporter (here). Kauboji / Cowboys screened as part of the Meditereanean Film Festival in Houston last year.

Hungary: Feher isten / White God, KornÈl Mundruczo
Won the “un certain regard” prize in Cannes, “the film follows the mixed-breed dog Hagen who moves, along with his guardian Lili, in with Lili’s father. Unwilling to pay a harsh “mongrel” fine imposed by the government, Lili’s father abandons him. Determined to find Lili again, Hagan soon attracts a large pack of half-breed followers who start a seemingly organised uprising against their human oppressors.”

Kosovo: Tri Dritare dhe një Varje / Three windows and a hanging, Isa Qosja
Kosovo’s first entry to the Oscars, “set in a traditional Kosovar village in 2000, a year after the war with Serbia, Isa Qosja’s “Three Windows and a Hanging” is a critical look at a patriarchal culture threatened by the knowledge that the enemy violated their women. When a local femme anonymously reveals to an international journalist that she and others were raped, the fallout from this once-repressed secret threatens to tear apart the fabric of village life in this finely written and directed drama”, says Variety here.

Macedonia: Do balcak / To the Hilt, Stole Popov
Action adventure Western set in Ottoman rules Macedonia.

Moldova:  La limita de jos a cerului / The Unsaved, Igor Cobileanski
“A shiftless Moldovan teen slowly tries to climb out of the gutter in The Unsaved, the bleak but effective feature debut of Moldova-born director Igor Cobileanski. Written by renowned Romanian New Wave helmer Corneliu Porumboiu (Cannes Camera d’Or winner 12:08 East of Bucharest) and the director, this is a quiet and slow-footed character study punctuated by blackly comic moments in which, in typical New Wave fashion, the characters’ bad behavior and good intentions slowly turn into a noose around the protagonist’s neck.” writes the Hollywood Reporter here.

Montenegro: Dječaci iz Ulice Marksa i Engelsa / The Boys from Marx and Engels Street, Nikola Vukcevic
“A highly uneven revenge thriller drenched in the heady perfume of hot-blooded Balkan melodrama”, writes the Hollywood Reporter (here).

Romania: Câinele japonez / The Japanese Dog, Tudor Cristian Jurgiu
Hollywood Reporter calls the film a “a leisurely, lyric and clear-eyed study of the changes in the life of an elderly man following the 2010 floods that devastated the northeast of the country. Viewers anticipating the bleakness and grim humor that characterizes much of the Romanian New Wave will instead find here a gentle film which, while entirely unsentimental, is gently upbeat, and while slow-moving, carefully avoids indulgence” (full review here).

Serbia: Montevideo, vidimo se! / See You in Montevideo, Dragan Bjelogrlic
Variety remarks “The film follows the fortunes of the Yugoslav soccer team at the World Cup in 1930 in Uruguay.” (here).

Slovenia:  Zapelji me / Seduce me, Marko Santic
“A pair of emotionally scarred 19-year-olds seek refuge from a harsh adult world in each other’s arms (..) the Hollywood Reporter writes, but ” feels like a low-voltage festival movie, as earnest and self-absorbed as its adolescent protagonists” here.

LGBT films from SEE

(photo source: Balkanist Magazine)

The other day at a filmmakers gathering I had the pleasure to chat with Kristian Salinas, the artistic director of Houston’s Q-Fest, a queer and LGBT film festival. I mentioned the topic of the Sworn Virgins to him and what a coincidence that an Italian-Albanian co-production shown on this year’s Berlinale picked it up (see my post here).
Three years ago, the gay pride parade in the city of Split, Croatia, was cancelled due to protests and threats from religious and nationalistic groups of society.
I vividly remember the support march some friends organised in Rijeka, where I was living at the moment. We met on a square above the city centre on one of these cool spring days, when the weather cannot decide on rain or shine. Maybe 70 people had gathered, but there was no glitter nor revealing costumes, as you see in abundance on the big Christopher Street Day parades elsewhere. After a short speech, the crowd descended on the city’s main pedestrian precinct. A little down the hill, there was riot police to protect the demonstrators. Continue reading

SEE Films at Berlinale 2015

The grand dame of film festivals, the Berlinale, had always had good connections with South Eastern Europe and many films have premiered there. Just the other day I was talking about the phenomenon of Sworn Virgins in the mountains of Albania, where women vow to live as men and subsequently enjoy a man’s privileges. I knew there were some documentaries about them, and now the first feature film on that topics, Vergine giurata / Sworn Virgin hails from Albania and Italy! The only other candidate in the competition is a Romanian-Bulgarian history piece set in 1835 multiethnic Wallachia, where a father and son embark on a Western-esque man hunt. Whereas  Aferim! is shot in black and white,  De ce eu? / Why me?, shown  in the Panorama section, paints an equally grim perspective on contemporary Romanian society:  a young prosecutor is assigned to a case he cannot win. Flotel Europa, the only feature from the former Yugoslavia and patched together from home videos, depicts life of Serbian refugees in a hotel ship in Copenhagen. Croatia contributes a short film in the generation 14+ section: in Piknik / Picnic a box fight is needed to break the ice between estranged father and son.
Read more about the films after the jump.

Continue reading