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After the breaking of mass movements in 1971., the student Ilija Baric must leave the country because of his political beliefs, and his father Luka lost a job and goes to work to Germany. After Titos death in 1980. there is a new political motion, but repression is still strong. That feels even decennial John, the brother of Ilija, who is in love with Marina, the daughter of the Head of the police and Communist Andrew. Written by
Karlo "Zapi" Bosnjak
This film was made at a time when Croatia had just proclaimed its independence, so it is hardly a surprise that it is extremely anti-Yugoslav by nature. The storyline goes like this: we follow a Croatian family whose eldest son is chased by the secret police or UDBA for being a national activist. The father, played wonderfully by Fabijan Sovagovic, the only bright spot here, has therefore sacrificed everything for his younger son, played by an extremely irritating kid, and has lived in disdain for the authorities since. Mustafa Nadarevic is the villain of the film, the chief of police who is chasing the elder son and a sworn communist.
Here the anti-communist subtext first appears for real above the surface. It is a wonder that this movie was directed by a man who was born in Montenegro and was one of the most acclaimed directors in former, communist Yugoslavia. One of other things that are implied here is that the religion was supposedly harshly suppressed under the communist rule, which was hardly the case. And the obvious sympathy for the West, shown in the younger son's obsession with rock 'n roll, also makes this a film that clearly takes sides.
The story gets complicated when the older son is murdered and the mother dies of grief on his funeral and later when the younger son falls in love with the daughter of Nadarevic, who by the time of the collapse of Yugoslavia has completely changed face and denies his communist past. The everlasting hate between him and Sovagovic worsens everything for the young lovers, but surprisingly everything sorts out in the end.
My verdict is that this film can be interesting to follow, but it can only be called a treat for those who support its political ideology and I am not one of them. Some things are quite laughable, for instance when the annoying 10 year old son tries to escape with the daughter of Nadarevic...I mean, come on! Where did you get that idea from Krsto? And the plot has holes as well and the acting is mostly mediocre here, except for Sovagovic and Nadarevic's performances of course. So this film comes off as a propaganda film posing as a Romeo and Juliet story. Therefore, I give it a 4.
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