QUIT STARING AT MY PLATE
NE GLEDAJ MI U PIJAT
2016, 105 min, Croatia, Dir: Hana Jušić

Echoing early Todd Solondz and Aki Kaurismäki, this humanist character study never wallows in its depressive subject matter or misses a chance for mordant humor. Mia Petričević stars as a 24-year-old woman who becomes the sole breadwinner for her poverty-stricken family after its patriarch has a stroke. Ultimately a tale of interdependence and our protagonist’s sexual awakening and newfound freedom from generational, psychological and physical abuse, PLATE serves up a uniquely nonjudgmental and compelling story of how we’re all just trying to survive and find happiness as best we can. Winner of six awards at the Pula Film Festival, including Best Director and Best Actress.


ALL THE BEST
SVE NAJBOLJE
2016, 102 min, Croatia, Dir: Snjezana Tribuson

It’s a Christmas tale with poisoning in writer-director Snjezana Tribuson’s charming feature. An opera singer, a handyman, a pastry shop worker and a farmer are all looking for love and coming up empty until a strange series of events – driven by cockroaches, beet-root soup and an opera aria – brings these lonely lives together. Ksenija Marinković, Renata Pokupić and Ozren Grabarić lead an outstanding cast in this feel-good film. In Croatian with English subtitles.


THE HIGH SUN
ZVIZDAN
2015, 123 min, Croatia/Serbia/Slovenia, Dir: Dalibor Matanić

Writer-director Dalibor Matanić’s striking drama tells three love stories set in three consecutive decades spanning the Balkan war. Stars Tihana Lazovic and Goran Markovic play the three different couples – sharing a forbidden love as the conflict ramps up in 1991, too scarred by the war to maintain a relationship in 2001, and struggling to break free of the legacy of inter-ethnic hatred in 2011. Beautifully shot (by cinematographer Marko Brdar), THE HIGH SUN won the Un Certain Regard Jury Prize at the Cannes Film Festival, as well as five Pula Film Festival awards.


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