The film is a high-concept project with five stories exploring the themes of motherhood and pregnancy, directed by women filmmakers from five former Yugoslav republics. "Croatian Story" ...
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Predrag 'Miki' Manojlovic,
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The film is a high-concept project with five stories exploring the themes of motherhood and pregnancy, directed by women filmmakers from five former Yugoslav republics. "Croatian Story" follows an anguished painter who must decide whether or not to keep one of her unborn twins, diagnosed with Down syndrome. "Serbian Story" finds an expectant mother in the same emergency room with a charming killer. "Bosnia-Herzegovina Story" centers on a financially strapped Sarajevo family whose son's lover is pregnant. "Macedonian Story" unfolds in a clinic where a drug addict struggles to keep her baby, and "Slovenian Story" ends the omnibus on a humorous note with a nun who finds her own way to immaculate conception.
The omnibus consists of five segments, each was directed by a different person (all women directors from the countries of former Yugoslavia). The segments have one topic in common - pregnancy, although they also portray typical problems of the transition in these countries.
All segments are rather interesting to watch. The only issue that an average viewer might find repulsive is that the film is quite "dark". The only exception is the segment from Slovenia (the last one in the omnibus), which ends in a rather positive and feel-good attitude.
The darkest story is the Croatian one. The main character Sonja (Nera Stipicevic) has to deal with two serious problems, the obsession caused by the death of her mother and pregnancy with one of her twins having Down syndrome. In my opinion, one of her struggles would be just enough. This way it offers a point of view that is too pessimistic.
The second segment comes from Serbia. It takes place on New Year's Eve and tells a story of Milena, a pregnant woman whose husband, a taxi driver, gets killed in the street. Therefore she takes too many sleeping pills and ends in a hospital. Nurses and doctors are in high celebration spirit, so it seems that nobody really cares for the patients and their problems. The only person available for conversation is a charming young criminal who lies in another bed. Unlike Croatian story, this segment contains some humor so it would probably be more appealing to the average viewer, although the topic is very "dark" again.
The third segment is from Bosnia and Herzegovina and tells a story of Heder (Nina Violic), who is an OSCE employee from Holland. After spending a year in Bosnia, she is about to leave to Afganistan. She wants her career to prosper so she is willing to sacrifice her relationship with Haris (Fedja Stukan), a man from Sarajevo who she fell in love with. However, she seems to have second thoughts after she discovers she is pregnant.
The fourth segment is from Macedonia. It takes place in a state hospital where a young pregnant junkie has to fight for the future of her baby. Beside the pregnancy issue, the segment strongly portrays the problems of social differences and inequality in present-day's Macedonia, where money seems to be the only measure for everything, which is especially obvious when tycoons and people from the bottom of the social scale confront.
The fifth segment comes from Slovenia and is the most interesting in my opinion. I find it genuine, optimistic and very unusual. It's the only segment I would rate with a 10. It tells the story of a nun who undergoes artificial insemination and therefore gets expelled from her convent. The funny thing is that she's taken the vow of silence, so nobody knows what really happened. Croatian actress Lucija Serbedzija plays the nun and she is absolutely brilliant in her role. It is amazing to watch all the feelings she expresses without saying a word (in the entire segment she says just one word). The segment also portrays some serious problems typical for transition and poverty, but it has a rather positive attitude. It shows that human spirit is unbeatable and that will probably make you smile and feel good in the end.
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