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The plot follows the story of Zona Zamfirova (Katarina Radivojevic), a local rich man's daughter, and the vicissitudes of her affair with Mane (Vojin Cetkovic), an ordinary goldsmith. As it was undesirable for the daughter of a rich man to marry a craftsman, the two are at first divided, with the possibility of Zona marrying the son of other rich people, Manulac. Everything is, however, changed as Mane organizes a successful conspiracy to keep Zona for himself. Written by
Zona Zamfirova was shown at a special screening in Toronto, in 2003. There are some bugs to work out, my main pet peeve being the subtitles. I have yet to see a well subtitled film from anywhere in the Balkans, and although using unusual contractions in English words may be a reflection of the particular dialect of the setting, if you don't speak the language (which you don't, because you're reading the subtitles, right?) then you don't appreciate it. Frankly, even for people who speak literary Serbian, the dialect is a stumper... the DVD even gives you non-dialect Serbian subtitles (which are good). Seeing the film made me go back to read the book by Stevan Sremac once again. It is very true to the book. Zona is beautiful, and she is initially snobby - it's a little much to compare her to Paris Hilton, but I think we've all met Zona in high school. If you remember that film and stage require you to 'suspend your disbelief', then you forget that the actress isn't quite 18, and that the lead actor isn't '90210 Pretty' (if you read more literature from the period, and look at some of the art, the male lead conforms to all expectations). You are willing to overlook these things, in order to immerse yourself in the visual beauty of the film. The director was fortunate to be able to film in some historic buildings and locations, and the details are dead on. The costumes are correct, down to the last stitch (sorry about Zona wearing red, but, check the book....), the hills and vineyards and cobblestone streets - it all draws you in, if you let it. Sometimes it's best to just enjoy a movie for what it is - an entertaining escape.
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