1 item from 2003
18 February 2003 | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »
Emotionfilm, TV Slovenia, Slovenian Film Fund
BERLIN -- "Spare Parts" comes in parts, all right: It's part buddy movie and part moral drama with some motorcycle speedway racing thrown in.
Writer-director Damjan Kozole never quite pulls all the disparate parts together into a satisfying whole, but in its key relationship and his central story about trafficking in illegal immigrants, he achieves highly emotional moments. The first Slovenian film to screen in competition here since that country broke away from the former Yugoslavia a dozen years ago, "Spare Parts" no doubt will turn up in other festivals this year.
Much of the story takes place in and around a small industrial town near the Slovenian border with Croatia known for its speedway racing, its nuclear power plant and its high incidence of cancer. Ludvik (Peter Musevski), a widower and former national racing champion, now transports illegal immigrants from all over the world to the Italian border at night. Breaking in a new driver, Rudi (Aljosa Kovacic), he gives the neophyte a hard time but soon accepts the youth as one of the gang. Rudi still experiences moral qualms about the job, but Ludvik has long ago numbed himself to any such reservations.
Rudi gets interested in a local woman, Angela (Aleksandra Balmazovic), but her eyes are on the current racing champ. When Rudi gets drunk after Angela gives him the brushoff one night and he jeopardizes the safety of a load of immigrants, he momentarily loses his job. He and Ludvik patch things up, though, so that when Ludvik tells him his cancer has recurred, their bond is sealed.
The stark reality of the messy business of human smugglers is movingly if grimly portrayed by Kozole, which reflects his background as a documentarian as well as a feature director. The film is shot with Dogme-like austerity and backed by a terrific Igor Leonardi score.
1 item from 2003
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