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In the Serbian drama "White, White World", the characters sing, but never dance. Formulated as a modern day Greek tragedy set in the decrepit eastern mining town of Bor, the movie follows a close group of alienated locals through misguided love affairs and other brash misdeeds. But the songs feature no choreography or other stylish methods of breaking the harsh, downtrodden tableaux.
I saw this film at the 20th Festival of East European Cinema in Cottbus, Germany, where it also won the award for the best film.
Story: A woman who killed her husband leaves prison and comes back home (to the city of Bor, Serbia) where she meets her daughter and two former boyfriends. A complicated emotional situation arises when her daughter gets too close with one of her former boyfriends.
About the movie: It's a medium-paced movie taking its time to introduce all characters yet leaving space for imagination and curiosity how all of them might be related to each other. One really interesting aspect of this movie is that it introduces musical-like elements in which the main characters sing (but don't dance). While this irritated me in the beginning (I am absolutely no fan of musicals) I started to really like this element and the way the actors sung. Another interesting aspect of the movie is how it spends a lot of moments on showing the city of Bor and the people living and working in it. It's a city full of plants, chimneys and simple living buildings and the economical decline and the simple living conditions are very obvious. The movie uses subtle metaphorical language that focuses mainly on its main characters. The script is based on the classic Greek tragedy (as also stated by the script writer after the screening of the movie) but even though the story really is a tragedy the movie doesn't feel overly heavy and manages to keep a certain level of lightheartedness.
Verdict: I really liked the movie. All actors performed perfectly and the story was engaging and believable. The movie really dragged me into another environment and made me feel like I'm in Bor - close to the main characters. A great achievement that not many movies accomplish that well. It's an affectionate picture of the city of Bor and the people living in it and a great cultural insight into another place and culture. It's definitely worth seeing and has very much deserved its decoration as the festivals best movie.
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