Creative documentaries from former Yugoslavia have always had a special place at Pravo Ljudski Film Festival. This year is no different: films from the region are integrated into four thematic sections of the festival programme, but, in addition to global issues, they also address specific ex-Yugoslav topics: workers in destroyed economies, growing up during turbulent nineties, search for the identity beneath the layers of history… Of course, they treat these themes with a different audio-visual approach – from an exploration of intimate archives and memories to merging of the documentary with the fiction.
During the first programme (After the Map of the Earth Covered the Earth) we showed the first feature by Ivan Salatić, one of the leading voices of the new Montenegrin generation of filmmakers. You Have the Night builds its language through documentary and fiction, delving into the postindustrial fiasco through the uncertain fate of a cruiser worker. After losing her job, she is trying to find her way home, to a small town, economically devastated after the bankruptcy of a nearby shipyard that kept it alive.
In the third section of the programme, dedicated to the politics of the ordinary, focusing on care and political repair, we are showing Homelands by Jelena Maksimović. Maksimović is a long-time friend of PLJFF, and her film Taurunum Boy (co-directed with Dušan Grubin) was shown in extra muros, competition programme, in 2018. A year later, Maksimović was a member of the extra muros jury. A part of the programme that deals with the phenomena of intertwined marginalization of women and the destruction of biodiversity, Homelands is presenting a remarkable story about the female experience – an experience of a girl that discovers the mountain village from where her grandmother escaped during the civil war in Greece. The film Homelands is available to watch until December 13th.
In the final programme of this year’s edition, entitled Co-shaping the plural and the collective: to know differently, to imagine otherwise, we will screen three films that reflect on collectivity, on communities we build through friendship, cities or memories we share. Director, film critic, and curator Ivan Ramljak is also no stranger to the PLJFF: at the 13th festival, we showed his Home of the Resistance that took us to Kumrovec and the majestic memorial building that now stands empty, a silent witness of an end of an era. His new film Once Upon a Youth is an intimate reconstruction of life and friendship after the sudden death of his best friend. Director’s personal photo and video archive transforms into homage to the lost generation from the late nineties.
Another returner to PLJFF is Josip Lukić, whose film Momsy we screened in Sarajevo in 2019. For the 15th edition of the festival, Lukić presents White Christmas, a walk through Zagreb city park where the director meets different people, engaging in apparently random conversations with them. White Christmas works as a very eloquent examination of the feeling of emptiness, wrote in his review Marko Stojiljković.
I believe that every person can become a story, said in an interview director of the movie Oroslan, Matjaž Ivanišin. Sure enough, the movie based on a short story by Zdravko Duše, and filmed in a Slovenian ethnic community in Hungary, shows that even a departed person continues to live through the stories of their relatives, friends, acquaintances. Each tale that villagers tell about Oroslon demonstrates a new way to preserve a memory, but also to honor and continue with everyday life. Films Once Upon a Youth, White Christmas, and Oroslan will be open to watch between December 14th and December 19th, at our web platform pravoljudski.org. Join us on the Web!
Films from the region will be screened on the Television of Bosnia and Herzegovina (BHRT) as a part of cooperation that we’re very proud of. The program will begin after the festival and we will announce the exact schedule soon!
For more information about the movies, and festival activities, follow pravoljudski.org, social networks, and #plj15 and #pravoljudski15.