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Alexandra is a student from Krsko, a small town in Slovenia, while she studies the English language in Ljubljana, the capital of Slovenia. She has a plan to conquer the world. Working as a prostitute, her life is heading to where she wants it, but an accidental death has her wrestling with new feelings of fear, loneliness, confusion and responsibility. Written by
Pusan International Film Festival
This film comes off as a "slice of life" ...of an unusual life. Its pace is neither hurried nor slow. It doesn't rely on either symbolism (neither obvious nor obscure) or literary references. Except for a few places where bits of music are used to great effect to convey meaning, this film is a dialog-driven story that doesn't require any sense of style. Although a few events may be a little out of strict order, this film doesn't rely on cinematic techniques like flashbacks. Everything we know of the characters' motivations comes from what they say and do
there's no memory nor daydreams nor interior monologue nor voice
over. There are no references to either previous or current "politics" (other than the inconvenient traffic snarls caused by the presence of EU officials). This film is not preachy, nor even moralistic; if anything it's somewhat ambiguous or understated.
It's too bad this film will probably be classified as "foreign" or "art house", as it's much more mainstream than that would suggest. While this film is not really about "sexiness", there are enough scenes with naked flesh to place it firmly in the current worldwide context. Likewise although this film is not really a "thriller", there's enough suspense (and even some danger) to make it clear it should be taken seriously. The filming and acting are quite good. One of the best examples of good supporting acting is portraying a band that's adequate but by no means great; the required level of mediocrity is played quite well.
The dialog is clear and easy to hear throughout. Subtitles are provided whenever necessary and are presented in large yellow letters that are consistently easy to read. I have one quibble though: several places an important message arrives on a cellphone as a text message in a language other than English, and is _not_ subtitled. I always eventually managed to figure out what was going on anyway ...but I would have very warmly welcomed the subtitling of the text messages as well as the dialog.
Much of what we see are all the practical problems and little details of a call girl life: multiple cell phones, code names, harassment by pimps, dying clients, mentally unstable clients, unattractive (downright ugly?) clients, continual fear of exposure, suspicion from hotel staff, inability to ask police to intervene normally, unwelcome carryover of massive lying and acting into other areas of life, difficulty balancing two separate lives (sleep, deadlines, finances, etc.), and so on. We also see more typical lives in both a smaller and a large Slovenian city. In the smaller city we're introduced to the overpowering presence and distortion caused by foreign (especially "American") culture. In the large city we see the architecture one would see every day, the disruption of normal life caused by the presence of EU officials, and the ubiquitous presence of the English language (both its very frequent use and all the attempts to learn it better - something like fully half the dialog doesn't even have to be subtitled for English speaking viewers).
The most important theme is the "alienation" of big city life, and the relatively reduced (but still substantial) alienation in a smaller city. The second important theme is the "meaninglessness" of life everywhere -- the film isn't saturated by the broodiness one tends to associate with nihilism, but adding together what all the various characters say (including things they _don't_ tell each other) it's hard to draw any other conclusion. Many other potential themes are given glancing attention: excessive materialism, fleetingness of relationships, essential isolation of each individual, growing to adulthood as a "launch" of a new lifestyle, inheritance of mental traits, inadvertently becoming what we despise, bleeding together of life spheres intended to stay "separate", and so on. The frequent references to the "Slovenian Girl" -and even the effects of the death of a client- provide convenient handles for describing this film, but aren't really what it's about.
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