In Zrinko Ogresta’s “On the Other Side,” Vesna (Ksenija Marinković), a middle-aged nurse in Zagreb, Croatia, finds her tranquil life interrupted when her husband, Žarko (Lazar Ristovski), reappears following a prison sentence for crimes committed in wartime during the early 1990s. Indeed, this enigmatic trailer raises more questions about the characters’—and the region’s—past than it answers. “Why,” Vesna asks at one point, “are you doing this to me?”
Using history as a lens through which to view the present is nothing new to Ogresta, who also works as a professor of film directing at the Academy of Dramatic Arts in Zagreb—he received a European Film Award nomination in 1991 for Best Young Director for his first feature, “Fragments: Chronicle of a Vanishing,” about a family torn apart by World War II and the Communist regime. And so it’s no surprise that “On the Other Side,” co-starring Berlinale Shooting Star Tihana Lazovic as Vesna’s soon-to-be-married daughter, poses provocative questions of its own about the tensions still roiling beneath the placid surface of post-war Croatia, two decades after the Croatian War of Independence came to an end.
“On the Other Side” world premieres at the 66th Berlinale next month. Cercamon is handling global sales.