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The High Sun (2015)

Zvizdan (original title)
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1:24 | Trailer
Three different love stories, set in three consecutive decades, in two neighbouring Balkan villages burdened with a long history of inter-ethnic hatred: this is a film about the dangers - and the enduring strength - of forbidden love.

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Cast

Cast overview:
Tihana Lazovic ...
Jelena / Natasa / Marija
Goran Markovic ...
Ivan / Ante / Luka
Nives Ivankovic ...
Jelenina / Natasina majka
Dado Cosic ...
Sasa
Stipe Radoja ...
Bozo / Ivno
Trpimir Jurkic ...
Ivanov / Lukin otac
Mira Banjac ...
Ivanova baba
...
Mane / Dino
Lukrecija Tudor ...
Dinka
Tara Rosandic ...
Petra
Ksenija Marinkovic ...
Lukina majka
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Storyline

Three different love stories, set in three consecutive decades, in two neighbouring Balkan villages burdened with a long history of inter-ethnic hatred: this is a film about the dangers - and the enduring strength - of forbidden love.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Romance

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Details

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Release Date:

24 March 2016 (Serbia)  »

Also Known As:

The High Sun  »

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Technical Specs

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Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Trivia

The film takes place in 1991, 2001 and 2011. See more »

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User Reviews

 
A message of pain and hope made digestible through Croatia's rural beauty
1 September 2015 | by (Budapest, Hungary) – See all my reviews

There was once a big country named Yugoslavia, and then it broke up into smaller countries and the people fought each other. Twenty years later, in director Matanic' own words, the Balkans still bear the burden of nationality, history and war. Hate is carried on from one generation to the next.

The High Sun starts with two lovers on the onset of war in 1991, to people returning to their old homes after the war in the early 2000s, to our present day, with a youth living modern lives for whom the war is a distant memory but who still carry with them the burden of their parents. The film is carried by the same two actors in the three different stories, playing different characters in a different time. Although they don't talk much, their expressions and movement It's the camera work that brings us inside their world. Above all, this is a very visual film that draws its strength from how it combines the beautiful countryside of Croatia with the memory of suffering. Animals look on at humanity's foolishness as soldiers through the countryside, the bullet holes are still visible in the walls, whether the houses are abandoned or inhabited and the protagonists' pain is visible on their faces.

While the war itself is not shown, the cultural issues of the Balkans are tangible throughout the entire film. Traditional gender norms are brought up in arguments between mother, daughter and brother, nationality is a key issue. The characters don't talk much, don't express themselves much until they hit their own breaking point. Which, of course they do, because everyone in one way or another is affected by the war.

The director said in a press conference following the film that he wants each generation to surpass their parents, but that instead he witnesses a regress, compared to the generation that lived in the old Yugoslavia. In order to stop the vicious cycle of violence that has plagued this region for hundreds of years. As the film moves on, we see a little shift at the conclusion of every story. The ending of the first is just tragic. The second results in an ambiguous ending after a passionate affair. The third leaves an open door for the protagonist, a chance to start over, to surpass the hatred his parents passed on.

Director Matanic has also said that 'some people just like to hate'. In contemporary Europe, this is still very much true. That kind of hatred is not easy to understand for everyone, including the people in the affected societies, such as the director's Croatia. This film can give us a better understanding of how war and nationalism can affect people on a personal level. More importantly, the message we take home at the end is that with time, there is more hope. All of that might have been a bit too preachy or serious if it weren't for the beautiful visuals of rural Croatia and the beautiful broken heroes of each story.


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