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FEST09 Sons of Croatia

When it comes to Balkan Film, political thriller is just a genre that would actually puzzle and attract lots of attention, if nothing then out of curiosity. This year International Film Festival FEST in Belgrade definitely brought out more of great films of nowadays Croatian Cinematography. Croatian director Arsen Ostojić holds a BA in film directing from the Academy of Dramatic Arts in Zagreb and MFA in filmmaking from New York University and by now, has a several awards on his sleeves. FEST09 presented his powerful political thriller “No One’s Son”, film that has received 7 Golden Arenas on 55th Pula Film Festival 2008.

"No One’s Son" is movie that explains very well a possible depict of post- civil war reality in the Balkans. It’s a tragic hero story that portray the absurd of warfare and vulnerability of people, and it also presents a power of skillful manipulation and transformation of people from normal individuals to emotional and physical cripples. “The story has thriller elements and it’s very complex. It is very sharp, sensitive and it deals with war and relations between us on Balkan. It deals with war tragedy, it forms one view and goes to the very end but on the other side it is honest. Here we are walking on the edge,” said Ostojić. "The film is art and art is the mirror of our reality. The public in Croatia appreciated the film, but a day before we won 7 Arena Awards on Pula Film Festival there was a serious review in a local newspaper stated that our film was the worse film on festival. I liked the controversy of it. In general, the film passes positively and slaps nationalists from both sides. It’s a Greek tragedy, a real gut feeling film. The film can be interpreted as anti war film, of course. It reaches a Croatian daily politics downwards and it plays with it. The film is about tragedy of this region and this tragedy keeps going on after the war. It passes on fathers and sons. It is also a personal tragedy of rock n roll generation in Croatia that matured end of 80s and beginning of 90s and had some other ideals. The war damaged the entire generation psychologically and physically."

Ivan is 36 years old ex rock singer and a disillusioned war veteran with no legs. His father Izidor was a political prisoner in Tito’s Yugoslavia and nowis a Croatian Parliament Candidate. But ghost from the past reappears revealing his son’s real father Simo, a Serb refugee. Izidor decides to kill Simo to keep him quiet but the truth can’t be buried forever. The film director Ostojić here did a great job in straight- forward directing to describe a complex relationship between son and father through the effective close ups. The good casting also did a great job, by choosing brilliant actors Alen Livarić and Mustafa Nadarević, that way creating a classy and smooth political thriller. The film has a terrific atmosphere with a high sense of esthetics. It’s truly demanding drama with fantastic visual effects of strong aspects of Ostojic’s directing and exceptional absolutely believable acting. "The scriptwriter is Mate Matišić and the screenplay was based on his drama “No One’s Son”, it’s a part of his post-mortal trilogy that contains 2 more dramas. One of his dramas is depicted in film directed by Vinko Brešan “It’s Not The End”. And the other drama is “No One’s Son”; I liked the power and crudity of the story," said Ostojić.
Radmila Djurica


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