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When Father Was Away on Business

Tito’s break-up with Stalin in 1948 marked the beginning of not only confusing, but also very dangerous years for many hard-core Yugoslav communists. A careless remark about the newspaper cartoon is enough for Mesha to join many arrested unfortunates. His family is now forced to cope with the situation and wait for his release from prison.

Na Putu (On the Path)

Luna and Amar are a couple. Their relationship is under great strain. First of all, Amar loses his job for being drunk at work. Luna is very worried and has little hope of realising her fragile dream of having a child with Amar. But her fears for their future increase when Amar takes on a well-paid job in a Muslim community hours away from where they live.
Only after quite some time has elapsed during which they have had no contact with each other, is Luna allowed to visit Amar in this community of conservative Wahhabis in its idyllic lakeside location. She notices that the men and veiled women live in strict segregation and are closely watched. Luna asks Amar to return home with her but Amar insists that life in this isolated community of faithful followers has brought him peace and also keeps him from drinking.

When he returns home a few weeks later, Luna realises that Amar’s attitude to religion has fundamentally changed. Amar claims that his only interest is to become a better person, but Luna finds it extremely difficult to follow his line of thinking. She begins to question everything that she has believed in, even her desire to have a child. As the wounds of a tragic war-filled past continue to haunt her, Luna tears herself apart searching if love is truly enough to keep her and Amar together on the path to a lifetime of happiness.

[Synopsis courtesy of the Berlin International Film Festival]

A Good Wife

Milena is a middle-aged wife and mother ensconced comfortably behind a gate in an upscale suburb of Belgrade. She quietly tends to her looks, dutifully cooks and entertains, and meets her friends for choir practice. She makes love with her husband and they socialize jauntily with a group of old friends. But unsettling realities are beginning to seep into Milena’s consciousness and disrupt her ordered world. One day while cleaning, she happens upon a videotape that incriminates her husband in horrific war crimes. [Synopsis courtesy of Sundance Film Festival]

Monument to Michael Jackson

In a dying town in Serbia daydreamer Marko is on the verge of divorce from the love of his life, Ljubinka. When an old communist-era monument is removed from the Main Square, he comes up with the idea to build a monument to Michael Jackson in order to save his town and seduce his wife again. But the town’s mayor has his own plans.

The Reaper

Three fateful encounters over the course of a single night exposes the gloomy picture of Ivo’s life and of the small Croatian village where he lives, which is as stuck and imprisoned by war as Ivo is by his dark past. [Synopsis courtesy of Toronto International Film Festival]

The Whirlpool

The second half of the 1990s in Belgrade. Three childhood friends are becoming adults, trying to find themselves in the chaotic whirlpool of events. Within a period of 48 hours their lives change completely. The film tells three separate stories, but all intertwined. Bogdan is the aggressive leader of a Belgrade skinhead group. His anger is largely caused by an abusive father (played by Emir Kusturica). Kale is the last living member of a famous gangster clan, their motto being “Better to live one day as a king than a thousand years as a slave”. Count is a graffiti artist who is battling his ghosts from the war by drawing a whirlpool which he believes will suck out all the dark shadows from his past. Director’s statement: “If, while swimming in a river, a whirlpool catches you and starts pulling you down – don’t fight it. Dive in deep and let it pull you to the bottom. It’s the weakest there and maybe you’ll make it. All those who lived in the Balkans during the 1990s felt the strength of being in a whirlpool-like state. We were sucked into it against our will, and even today we can’t seem to get out”. [Synopsis courtesy of Warsaw Film Festival]