7.8/10
632
14 user 6 critic

Bal na vodi (1985)

In 1985, four middle-aged Yugoslav emigres return to Belgrade for the funeral of Mariana, their beautiful compatriot. They called her Esther, for Esther Williams, she was the coxswain for ... See full summary »

Director:

Writer:

Reviews

On Disc

at Amazon

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

The story takes place in 1993 Serbia, torn by hyperinflation and economic disaster. Milan, an avid fan of FC Partizan, lives with his friend, a painter, and makes money by selling his ... See full summary »

Director: Radivoje Andric
Stars: Srdjan 'Zika' Todorovic, Dubravka Mijatovic, Goran Radakovic
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

Omnibus film, consisting of three independent parts: in the first story, Koma, a failed rocker, wants to prove to his producer father that newly composed music could be better than his. He ... See full summary »

Directors: Goran Gajic, Zoran Pezo, and 1 more credit »
Stars: Nebojsa Bakocevic, Predrag Bjelac, Dragan Bjelogrlic
Tito i ja (1992)
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

The story of a ten year old boy who, as most of the children in Yugoslavia of the 1950s can hardly imagine his life without the great national leader - marshal Tito. After winning the ... See full summary »

Director: Goran Markovic
Stars: Dimitrije Vojnov, Lazar Ristovski, Predrag 'Miki' Manojlovic
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.6/10 X  

For the young man who lives in Serbian province town, the maturing coincides with the turbulent political events of the year 1968.

Director: Goran Paskaljevic
Stars: Slavko Stimac, Danilo 'Bata' Stojkovic, Mira Banjac
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  

One week in a life of Branimir Mitrovic "Floyd", a young rally driver from the National Class (up to 785cc), dreaming of promotion to the higher category. He lives a carefree life of a ... See full summary »

Director: Goran Markovic
Stars: Dragan Nikolic, Bogdan Diklic, Gorica Popovic
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

War arrives to a small secluded village in Vojvodina. The Germans take a group of hostages through the village and on their way molest a small boy. As revenge the boy sets the German corn ... See full summary »

Director: Branko Bauer
Stars: Slavko Stimac, Miodrag Radovanovic, Pavle Vuisic
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A love story between a teenager girl and a small time mob set in Belgrade during the times of great political turmoil.

Director: Vladimir Blazevski
Stars: Bojana Maljevic, Branislav Lecic, Miralem Zupcevic
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

This story about two maternal half-brothers, a Croat and a Serb. Although they never met, and both lose their loved ones in ethnic clashes, there is a bond between them. Filmed in 1988, "... See full summary »

Director: Zdravko Sotra
Stars: Zarko Lausevic, Slavko Stimac, Mira Furlan
Action | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

The story of an outsider who spent seven years in prison for robbery. Eternal rebel, unsatisfied with the system and people around him, he wants to establish the way of his own justice. As ... See full summary »

Director: Aleksandar Boskovic
Stars: Dragan Nikolic, Vesna Stanojevic, Danilo 'Bata' Stojkovic
Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

The story about Jimmy the Dingy, a young vagabond who works as a seasonal worker. Having been sacked from the job, his dreams are to become a singer. As most of the things in the Balkans happen, he is destined to failure.

Director: Zivojin Pavlovic
Stars: Dragan Nikolic, Ruzica Sokic, Neda Spasojevic
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

Bora the Gypsy is married to an older woman, and he falls in love with the younger Tissa, who is being offered in marriage by her father, to a young gypsy man. This marriage arrangement is ... See full summary »

Director: Aleksandar Petrovic
Stars: Bekim Fehmiu, Olivera Katarina, Velimir 'Bata' Zivojinovic
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

Men, women, and war. Jelena Panic is a young woman in Belgrade in the early 1990s, during Serbia's war with Croatia; she's making a book of her grandmother's diaries from the end of World ... See full summary »

Director: Gorcin Stojanovic
Stars: Branka Katic, Nebojsa Glogovac, Ana Sofrenovic
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Gala Videnovic ...
Mirjana 'Ester' Zivkovic
Relja Basic ...
Glenn
Nebojsa Bakocevic ...
Young Glenn
Marko Todorovic ...
Sasa
Dragan Bjelogrlic ...
Young Sasa
Milos Zutic ...
Kica
...
Young Kica (as Srdjan Todorovic)
Djordje Nenadovic ...
Pop Popovic (as George Heston)
Goran Radakovic ...
Young Pop
Milan Strljic ...
Young Ristic
Dragomir Bojanic-Gidra ...
'Joe' Ristic (as Anthony Gidra)
...
Glenn's father
Ruzica Sokic ...
Kica's mother
Spela Rozin
Danica Maksimovic ...
Rada Svercerka (black market)

Comic-Con 2017: All Aboard the IMDboat

 | 

July 20 to 23, 2017

Get entertainment news, trailer drops, and photos with IMDb's coverage of 2017 San Diego Comic-Con featuring host and IMDboat captain Kevin Smith. Watch our exclusive celebrity interviews, and tune in to our LIVE show from 3:30 to 5 p.m. PDT on Saturday, July 22.

Browse Our Guide to Comic-Con

Edit

Storyline

In 1985, four middle-aged Yugoslav emigres return to Belgrade for the funeral of Mariana, their beautiful compatriot. They called her Esther, for Esther Williams, she was the coxswain for their four-man rowing team, and they each loved her. They'd last seen her in 1953, when they rowed her across the Adriatic, pregnant, to join her exiled father in Italy. In flashbacks we learn the story of their youthful baptism into sex, smoking, rock and roll (Hey Ba-ba-re-bop), Hollywood and Swedish films, blue jeans on the black market, and their rivalry with Ristic, the Communist Party youth leader for whom they had instant antipathy. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

female nudity | period piece | See All (2) »

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Certificate:

R

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

24 October 1985 (Yugoslavia)  »

Also Known As:

A est suonavano una canzone: Hey Babu Riba  »

Box Office

Gross:

$141,423 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Color:

See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Connections

Features One Summer of Happiness (1951) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Coming of age in post-war Serbia
11 April 2017 | by (Ohio/PA border) – See all my reviews

Released in 1985, "Hey Babu Riba" is a coming-of-age drama set in post-war Yugoslavia; more specifically, Serbia. The film starts in the present with four middle-aged men who convene at the funeral of a woman they all loved and helped escape communist Yugoslavia to reunite with her father 33 years earlier. As teens in communist Serbia, the four boys were a rowing crew and the female was their coxswain. The girl, Mirjana (Gala Videnovic), is nicknamed Esther by the guys, after Esther Williams, the American swimmer and actress, who rose to fame with movies like "Bathing Beauty" (1944). One of her songs from that movie is a main tune in "Hey Babu Riba."

Speaking of which, the seemingly nonsensical title has nothing to do with the original title and comes from the brief appearance in the film of a recording of Lionel Hampton's "Hey! Ba-Ba-Re-Bop." The Serbo-Croatian title (translated) is "Dancing in Water," which is too generic and explains why they changed it. This is fine, but "Hey Babu Riba" is unnecessarily confusing. This could've been avoided by simply using the actual spelling of the song "Hey! Ba-Ba-Re-Bop." So why didn't they?

While the movie's too talky and the beginning is unnecessarily convoluted, there's enough good in it to give it a marginal thumbs up, if you don't mind reading subtitles (the Language is Serbo-Croatian with subtitles available on the DVD). The film illustrates how the natural trust and naiveté characteristic of teens can easily be swayed or abused. For instance, the manipulation to smoke based on the lie that it equals adulthood and, therefore, coolness. I should point out, by the way, that there's some tame (female) nudity in the movie.

What's most interesting is the setting, the struggle between Communist and American ideals in Tito's Yugoslavia. The "four" are attracted to American cinema, music and styles, while their nemesis (the leader of a rival rowing crew) is a rising member in the Communist elite so staunch he has tattoos of Stalin and Lenin on his wrists. He also happens to be in pursuit of Esther's affections. I couldn't help reflecting on how there was never a youth in America back then (the early 50s) who was fascinated by communistic ideals. Gee, why is that?

Another superb thing about this movie is the depiction of life in Eastern Bloc Europe in the early 50s. Interestingly, it wasn't much different than life in America, except for the specter of communism, which is WHY the rowing team were fascinated with the FREEDOM inherent to America and wanted to escape. Regardless, this was the first film depicting life in the 50s where I was thoroughly convinced and effectively brought back to that distant era. The actors never TRY to be from an earlier generation; they just are, and the movie works because of it.

The big mystery is (NO SPOILERS): Which one of the boys gets Esther pregnant? I suspected the answer in the first half and was right. It's not hard to figure out.

The movie runs 112 minutes and was written & directed by Jovan Acin based on the memories of Petar Janković, George Zecevic and Mr. Aćin meshed with the life of Radomir Perica, who was jailed for flaunting a Mickey Mouse tattoo in post-war Yugoslavia.

GRADE: B- (6.5/10)


0 of 0 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?