Béla Tarr has taken no time to rest in mentoring two of the most promising filmmakers in Eastern Europe. Having previously mentored László Nemes in his Oscar-winning directorial debut, “Son of Saul,” the acclaimed Hungarian director is set to repeat his mentorship with his newest protégé, Emma Rozanski. Funded by Indiegogo, Rozanski has taken bold steps in her first feature film, “Papagajka,” setting her psychological thriller in the tumultuous background of Sarajevo. Having just begun healing old wounds, the Bosnian town becomes the perfect setting to explore how a young man’s life is turned upside down due to the arrival of a intrusive stranger.
The film’s official synopsis reads: “A stranger, Tasya, arrives in Sarajevo and barges into Damir’s reclusive world. Little by little she takes over his life, even absorbing his dreams, until finally she threaten his very existence. Damir cannot summon the courage to confront Tasya as she becomes progressively more comfortable and controlling. Can Damir find it in himself to struggle out of this trap and regain control of his life, or will Tasya take him over completely, leaving no trace of Damir in the world?”
When asked about her feature, Rozanski told Indiewire, “The main theme I explore in ‘Papagajka’ is apathy. In a way it’s a cautionary tale about indifference, yet the layers of story to allow for individual interpretation and imagination. I’m interested in exploring how people (and cultures) transform under psychological conflict, and how the mind adapts to survive in different environments. Being at the crossroads of time and culture in so many ways, Bosnia was the perfect place to do this.”
She continued, “The two main characters are representative of different states of mind and transition. One is an ‘outsider’ who is completely unfamiliar with the surroundings she finds herself in, and the other is so entrenched in his bunker of a world, that it has become monotonous and inflexible. These conflicting points of view create the dramatic situation that enables us to view psychological transitions on varying levels, as these two differing minds cope with their adaptation, needs and desires.”
The film is scheduled to have its world premiere at this year’s SXSW on March 13. Check out our exclusive clip above and a new poster below.