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In the village of Donja Mrdusa the anniversary party is being prepared marking the election of the peasant cooperatives' president. He orders the teacher to prepare a Hamlet play that would be staged in the village. The role of king Claudius and the queen goes to the president and his mistress. Meanwhile, a real life drama takes place there, since the president has falsely accused the treasurer for financial abuse. Treasurer's son seeks to expose the dirty work and save his father's honor. Written by
Brilliant drama-comedy-parody, based on hilarious book by famous Croatian writer Ivo Breshan. Director Krsto Papich adapted this cult play, making it an ambitious drama-within-a-drama that criticizes dictators and autocratic rulers.
In the village Mrdua Donja in Dalmatian Zagora, the position of the president of the working community was grabbed by Mate, who also stole some money and put the blame on a war veteran. But Joco, the veteran's son, wants to find out the truth. In order to celebrate the anniversary of his election, Mate orders the villagers to organize the play 'Hamlet' with himself playing the king. The professor simplifies the text for the villagers, while the role of Hamlet goes to Joco...
The humor shines in the first half where the local professor is anguished by trying to "adapt Shakespeare to the Balkan way", i.e. making it simple enough for the villagers to understand it. That way Hamlet and Ophelia became Amlet and Omelia, and among the "improved" monologues is also this one: "Look at Polonius over there, how he wants to ride an ox all by himself! The king would always like a seat, because it always licks his bare ass!" In English it doesn't sound so funny, but since it rhymes in Croatian, it's a riot. Too bad Papić didn't more passionately embrace such a hilarious subplot that makes a caricature of Hamlet, but the parallels between the play and the relationships of the characters are good, while the ending, although too bitter, is wonderfully nihilistic: such a subversive critique of politicians who celebrate, devour and dance, is equal to a classic...
Won Golden Arena, Pula Film Festival of Yugoslavian Films: Best Actor. It was entered into the 24th Berlin International Film Festival.
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