Filmmakers in the Balkans tend to come from or live in big cities, and for a long time most of the works they delivered was decidedly urban. However, in recent years, this has changed and young directors increasingly look at the countryside as a setting and a state of mind. In this selection you will find both aspects, and realise that they are actually quite complementary, and that their topics and artistic approaches are often interchangeable. This dynamic shows the untameable spirit of people living in the region that used to be one country and is still a common cultural space.
The six films in this programme are intended to relate the spirit of urban life in the region of former Yugoslavia. The focus is on the context of living in cities and its direct result: personal psychological problems in a Macedonian animation, human consequences of capitalistic urban planning in a Croatian drama, nostalgia for the warm and familiar in an intimate Bosnian documentary, romantic misgivings in Slovenian docudrama, a delicate transgender-immigration dilemma in a Serbian festival hit, and the paradox of urban decay in a phantasmagoric Croatian documentary. Together, they present the particular, fluid and ever-changing dynamics inherent to contradictions of the often troubled Balkan region. This simmering tension has been known to cause wars – but also to create wonderful, unexpected connections on an interpersonal level that mix, overlap and eventually overflow into sensitive, ultimately humanistic works of art.
Curator: Vladan Petkovic