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Rusevine (2004)

A successful stage director plans to put on an outdoor production of a previously unknown play by a famous writer, but is haunted by his past in the form of the actors and crew with whom he has to work.


Janez Burger
11 wins. See more awards »


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Cast overview:
Darko Rundek Darko Rundek ... Herman
Natasa Matjasec Natasa Matjasec ... Zana
Matjaz Tribuson Matjaz Tribuson ... Gregor
Milan Stefe Milan Stefe ... Vojko
Vesna Jevnikar Vesna Jevnikar ... Marjana
Visnja Ficor Visnja Ficor ... Suzana
Rafael Voncina Rafael Voncina ... Aljosa
Natasa Burger ... Ema
Gregor Cusin Gregor Cusin ... Theatre Manager
Janja Majzelj Janja Majzelj ... Dramaturgy Adviser
Janez Skof Janez Skof ... Milos
Polde Bibic Polde Bibic ... The Legend


A successful stage director plans to put on an outdoor production of a previously unknown play by a famous writer, but is haunted by his past in the form of the actors and crew with whom he has to work.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis





Official Sites:






Release Date:

November 2004 (Slovenia) See more »

Also Known As:

Ruins See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Official submission of Slovenia the 'Best Foreign Language Film' category of the 78th Academy Awards in 2006. See more »

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User Reviews

Samo Rugl. If you have a problem, call your father. He'll help.
8 June 2006 | by janezburgerSee all my reviews

Review by DEBORAH YOUNG, Variety

Using a theater company's production of a play to reveal the intricacies of character and relationship may not be a cutting-edge idea, but "Ruins" does the job so well, it is a pleasure to watch. Slovenian director Janez Burger makes a worthy follow-up to his widely seen debut "Idle Running," creating an en-grossing drama out of the good, old-fashioned tools of performance, camera-work and tone. This carefully balanced work would make a worthy addition to theater and arts festivals, and could be just the cup of tea for serious-minded broadcasters.

The story is woven around Herman (Darko Rundek), a respected middle-aged stage director preparing a previously unknown work by an old Icelandic master, to be played in an open-air theater at dawn. As we soon learn, the real playwright is Herman and his discovery is a hoax. To make matters worse, the piece is opening an international theater festival where the impresario is planning a splashy reception.

In the cast are the director's old friends, including close buddy Gregor (Matjaz Tribuson) and Her-man's live-in companion Zana (Natasa Matjasec), a famous actress he's never worked with. There is also Gregor's sexy ex-mistress, much to the distress of his jealous wife Ema (Natasa Burger). Herman's clever idea seems to be to explore real-life tensions between his actors. But the real tension begins when he thinks he sees Zana and Gregor having a quickie in the bathroom. So begin rehearsals from hell.

A drama of jealousy unfolds as the problematic premiere approaches. Herman's suspicions are raised to Othello-like proportions, turning all his fine talk about love and relationship into farce. But the show must go on, and its strange, barbaric performance makes for strong dramatic closure in one of Burger's many bold directing decisions.

Well written by Ana Lasic and Burger, and beautifully paced, the film drops viewers into the emotional world of stage performers, who live in musty old hotels and never stop thrashing out the difference be-tween "true emotion" and theatrical posing. In the main role of Herman, Croatian musician and composer Rundek is an ambiguous manipulator, just this side of a spoof on pretentious intellectuals. Matjasec's intense, neurotic Zana wins sympathy despite a fit of artistic temper on stage. Tribuson delivers a multi-layered performance as the dynamically engaging Gregor, one of the few to add a welcome touch of humor.

Simon Tansek's fluid, modern widescreen lensing keeps things moving and reveals an uncommon poetry in the final scenes, where Ana Matijevic and Aleksandra Gregl's costumes also shine. Drago Ivanusa's score adds depth.

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