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Stola has been spending his summer in the sweltering haze of festival parties. But one day, he runs into Roko, an old acquaintance, who is on a mission to discover medieval frescoes at a nearby monastery. Roko convinces Stola and a random group of partygoers to join him in his search. However, when their bus breaks down in the middle of nowhere, their brief excursion turns into an allegorical journey into the unknown.
Showing a lot of the film maker's potential in several nice touches, making the movie much more interesting than the basic story suggests
Saw this at the Rotterdam Film Festival (IFFR) 2017. A proverbial knock out competition, like Agatha Christie's book And Then There Were None (aka Ten Little Ni**ers), but without anyone being murdered and with everyone still standing afterwards. Excursion members got detached from the group one by one, mostly following an impulse underway and staying behind for some reason or other. No one is forcing them in any way. We have no reason to believe that they are better off, or worse for that matter, than the rest of the group.
It is entertaining all the time, despite the unrefutably truth that nothing really out of the ordinary happens. It is very well possible that the landscapes were helpful in keeping our interest. Based on a novel by Antun Soljan (1932-1993) that was used as a framework, yet the actual story deviated more and more from it during filming. The structure is retained from the book, however. Part of the text is improvised, e.g. the scene with the cooler.
Most actors were personal friends, only Roko was a professional actor. After 21 days of shooting, the voice over became the most important part to bind it all together. It took quite a while to get it right. We often hear a wooden clarinet, a local instrument. Part of the dropouts underway are derived from the novel, while other were invented later. The carnival group is well known, also a local tradition.
All in all, given price/performance this movie is a great achievement (budget is probably minimal). It includes several nice touches, difficult to describe here. I would not be surprised when a second viewing would reveal many more niceties, but I can offer no proof for this assumption other than my belief that this film maker shows a lot of potential. The festival audience thought otherwise and rewarded it a lowly 101st place (out of 172).
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