Grbavica (2006) (Austria-Bosnia/Herzegovina)

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Grbavica (2006) (Austria-Bosnia/Herzegovina)

Postby justindeimen » Fri Apr 20, 2007 10:41 am

Winning the Golden Bear at the 2006 Berlin International Film Festival, Bosnian writer-director Jasmila Zbanic arrives with an emotional belter in her debut feature, Grbavica. All the more relevant now in its quietly disconcerting post-wartime musings, the film packs all the wallop of a shotgun to the gut with the revelations sowed from the secrets held between a mother-daughter pairing of waitress, Esma (Mirjana Karanovic) and her pubescent daughter Sara (Luna Mijovic). Sara, a wartime baby, believes her father to be a hero for the cause and a monetary benefit that derives from that belief spurs her inquisitive nature that begins to unsettle Esma. Alluding to bankrupt masculine values in the region among other things, the films raison d'etre is to remind audiences of the echoes of war and the numerous communal crises still facing its people. Grbavica falters when it shows too much leg and too little narrative flexibility when leading up to its devastating conclusion, marvelously acted upon by its leading ladies.

Rating: 3 out of 5
justindeimen
 


Re: Grbavica (2006) (Austria-Bosnia/Herzegovina)

Postby hengcs » Tue Apr 24, 2007 7:26 am



Grbavica (2005) (Austria/Bosnia-Herzegovina/Germany/Croatia)

Director: Jasmila Zbanic
Cast: Mirjana Karanovic, Luna Mijovic

Patience is needed with this film. For many art film goers, the genre may not be exactly new ... So, for the first half of the film, many may wonder what makes this film so great ... the audience is introduced to these pair of mother (Mirjana Karanovi) and daughter (Luna Mijovi ) ... with a strong bond, but constantly undergoing strains with the daughter's rebellious streak ... more importantly, there seems to exist a secret from the past. To the attentive audience, hints are being dropped of the "truth/twist" in this film ...

I like the film for these three reasons ...

First, the two actresses ... they make you believe in their characters ... complex and contradictory but believable ...

Second, as usual, half the battle is won with a good message ... not just at the "world/society" level (with regards to peace, harmony, and different races, etc) but also at the family level (there is always tension and quarrel; yet, there is always love and care for one another) ...

Third, with such controversial topic, it is not easy to have an ending that will please all ... however, in my humble opinion, it does have a well crafted ending that convey a much bigger message about humanity ...

Conclusion:
Recommended. About half way through, some people may still wonder why it manages to clinch the top award at Berlin Film Fest. To me, the ending makes the major difference (demarcating it from a mediocre film) ... In particular, the positive outlook and the courage to face all odds make it a great film ... Yet, the ending does not seek to resolve all issues ...
hengcs
 

Re: Grbavica (2006) (Austria-Bosnia/Herzegovina)

Postby trevor826 » Wed May 02, 2007 7:13 am

Esmas Secret (UK release title) - Grbavica (2006)

Directed by Jasmila Zbanic

Starring Mirjana Karanovic, Luna Mijovic

Although the emphasis of this story is firmly set on struggling mother Esma and her young teen daughter Sara, Esma in particular is indicative of a nation split asunder and still reeling from the effects of war. Her life is governed by trying to support Sara and herself, balancing the need to earn a living and to give her time and love to her daughter.

Living in Grbavica, an area of Sarajevo, every day is surrounded by reminders of the war that split the former Yugoslavia apart. Esma lives with the scars, particularly mental and her life is riddled of anxiety, guilt, fear and constant mistrust, she holds a secret that is a constant burden to any chance to move on from those painful years. Until she can open herself up to the truth, it will be extremely hard to let the healing process begin.

From the perspective of the UK title, the story is accentuated firmly onto the mother/ daughter relationship, unfortunately in this case; the secret itself is very easy to determine, as friendly play between the two ends with Esma becoming very distraught. Its then just a case of the full story behind the secret slowly revealing itself.

Taken from its original title, this is more about a nation that cannot forget the pain and atrocities of war, a generation that are finding it difficult to come to terms with the past, to move on, to cleanse itself from the horrors witnessed and felt.

Grbavica as an area still bears the scars of war, indeed people are still being injured or killed from munitions and mines that remain there, talk of internment camps and mass graves along with other atrocities are common to modern wars but are no less painful for it. All they do illustrate is how little mankind has truly developed through the aeons.

The performances from the central pair are excellent, Mirjana Karanovic in the role of Esma carries the bulk of the film and gives a powerful performance with all the gravitas the subject deserves. The one problem for me was that the final section of the film, once Esma's secret had been fully disclosed was far too rushed and not given the time or depth it deserved, the final scene though is emotionally heart wrenching but not in a melodramatic way, very convincingly performed.

Well worth seeing in my opinion, not a chick flick as the UK title would suggest but a film concerning the after effects of a war on the society that have lived through it and the generation born into it.

Cheers Trev.

BBFC rated 15

R2 dvd released by Dogwoof Pictures.
trevor826
 

Re: Grbavica (2006) (Austria-Bosnia/Herzegovina)

Postby hengcs » Fri May 04, 2007 2:36 am

Quote trevor, "From the perspective of the UK title, the story is accentuated firmly onto the mother/ daughter relationship, ... Taken from its original title, this is more about a nation that cannot forget the pain and atrocities of war, a generation that are finding it difficult to come to terms with the past, to move on, to cleanse itself from the horrors witnessed and felt."

agreed ...

that's the problem with translation ... but why did they even bother in the first place, given that it is the name of a locality ... not just some title in another language?!
hengcs
 

Re: Grbavica (2006) (Austria-Bosnia/Herzegovina)

Postby trevor826 » Sat May 05, 2007 7:31 am

The simplest answer would be that very few people would know how to pronounce Grbavica.

However, the renaming adds an almost sordid appeal, certainly one that would pique more of an interest to the casual observer than the original title, remember the excellent South Korean film Oh! Soo-jung , marketed in the West with the incredibly inflammatory and seedy sounding title of Virgin Stripped Bare by Her Bachelors!

Cheers Trev
trevor826
 

Re: Grbavica (2006) (Austria-Bosnia/Herzegovina)

Postby arsaib4 » Mon Jun 11, 2007 2:02 am

Jasmila Zbanic's Grbavica: The Land of My Dreams is being released on DVD by Strand (U.S.) on June 12th.
arsaib4
 


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