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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 War II. She takes up with Bogden, a young soldier recovering from war wounds. He helps her with her grandmother's story, a tragic triangle involving her effete and well-educated husband and an uneducated major, a Chekist who has, perhaps, the power to save a political prisoner who is the grandmother's friend. As Jelena wonders which man was her grandfather (the Chekist or the husband), Bogden recovers from his wounds and must decide whether to return to the front. Jelena pleads; duty calls. Written by
Another offering from Ljubisa Samardzic's post-acting career workshop. This time he was at it as a producer, before his rather mediocre directorial attempts in "Nebeska udica" and "Natasa".
Here, he and director Gorcin Stojanovic took a novel by the late great Slobodan Selenic and made a decent movie out of it.
Two separate stories run concurrently through the film. First, in the 1990s Belgrade with young Jelena (Branka Katic) meeting a soldier Bogdan, a Serb form Croatia (Nebojsa Glogovac) who's in town recovering after being wounded at the frontlines in Croatia. And the other in late 1940s Belgrade, told through Jelena's grandmother's journal that she found years later. In it, her grandma of the same name (played by: Ana Sofrenovic) is trying to free her Chetnik sympathizer stepfather from jail while herself adjusting to new post-WW2 realities and being wooed by two men - stepfather's snobby son Jovan (Dragan Micanovic) and a powerful Partizan commander Krsman (Sergej Trifunovic).
After a poor start movie starts delivering and gets better with each passing scene. There were many insightful moments but also some melodramatic fluff which would've been better suited for a sappy TV drama.
In the end, one gets a feeling "Ubistvo s predumisljajem" turned out OK despite the director rather than because of him. This movie's quality is in the great Slobodan Selenic story, which proved too good to be messed up by anyone and is alone worth the price of admission.
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