A Serbian black comedy about suicide, bureaucracy and a mother’s endless struggle to make ends meet in a society hampered by its past is flagged as a must-see film at the über-prestigious Berlinale International Film Festival (9-18 February).
Pushed to her limits – by the death of the family rabbit, no less – Jelena (Mrs J) resolves to commit suicide on the anniversary of her husband’s death. She has just one week to put her affairs in order.
“The idea for the story originates from intimate acquaintance with a woman who embodies a typical victim of the transition process in Serbia,’ said the film’s writer and director Bojan Vuletić.
Following the film’s world premiere at London’s celebrated Raindance Film Festival and a showing at ScreamFest in Hollywood, the fast-paced actioner from Belgrade director Filip Kovačević has more screenings lined up for November.
Audiences at Germany’s prestigious Cottus Film Festival (Kammerbühne, Cottbus: 8/9 Nov) and Night Visions in Helsinki, Finland (Kinopalatsi, Helsinki: 9/12 Nov) will be next to see the film that is attracting so much attention.
Incarnation is a visually striking thriller about a seemingly ordinary young man (Stojan Djordjevic) who gets stuck in an enigmatic loop, in which he gets killed repeatedly by four masked assassins.
Even hardened teetotallers would be moved by The Promise, a character driven documentary of passion and determination to unleash dormant potential in a proud people and their fertile land.
Vineyards in the village of Rogljevo in Eastern Serbia once sent wine around Europe and were exhibited in Bordeaux and Paris.
Those days are long gone and this region close to the Romanian border is run down and neglected: wineries are in ruins, tourism is negligible, and the less than 200 villagers still living there struggle to make ends meet.
The Promise is a stunningly filmed documentary that follows the trials and tribulations of a French couple who relocate to a remote Serbian village with a vision to revive the lost traditions of a forgotten wine-making region.
The star of 24: Live Another Day, The Bourne Ultimatum and Brad Pitt’s WWII tank story Fury, co-wrote the dark thriller with young writer Paul D. Clancy.
“Niklas is a troubled character with a complicated past,’ said Branko. “He is a loner, a man of few words.
“He exists in the shadows like a hit man, performing his job with cold precision, but he has grown to hate himself for the man he has become.”