28/06/2010 09:11

“Besa” – winner of guild award at Moscow International Film Festival

At 32nd Moscow International Film Festival Srdjan Karanovic’s “Besa” won Federation of Russian Film Centers’ guild award as well as award presented by Cinema clubs of Russia.

The main prize “Golden George” for the best film went to “Brother” by Venezuelan director Marcel Rasquin, who was presented with this award by the president of the jury, Luc Besson. This film also received Russian film critics’ award as well as the audience award. “Silver George” for the best director went to Polish director Jan Kidawa-Blonski for “Little Rose”. “Silver George” for best actress went to Vilma Cibulková for her role in “An Earthly Paradise for the Eyes”, while Nik Xhelilaj received “Silver George” for best actor for his role in “The Albanian” by German director Johannes Naber.

“Besa” is a love story based on true events. The narrative is set during World War I. A young Serbian teacher Philip moves into a small Serbian province to start working as a teacher. He brings with him his wife Lea, whom he met during his studies in Western Europe He doesn’t succeed in getting a position of a high school principal since war breaks out and he goes to join the military. He leaves his young and beautiful wife under the care of Azem, a patriarchal and illiterate Albanian who works as a school custodian. Azem gives Philip his solemn oath, “besa” (in Albanian tradition “besa” is a solemn oath that must be kept no matter what) that he will look after Lea and see to it that nothing happens to her. Two people of entirely different religious and cultural upbringing are forced to cohabitate in an abandoned school while the war keeps raging in the background. Their relationship evolves from hatred and misunderstanding until it becomes not just mere tolerance but a unique friendship that gradually grows into a form of a love connection, which is considered forbidden on so many levels. Unexpected feelings of love between Lea and Azem will bring into light numerous dilemmas and question the moral codex of “besa”, a promise one must keep even at the price of one’s own life. “Besa” is a co-production of seven production companies from Serbia, Slovenia, France, Hungary and Croatia. Chief producer is Film House Bas Celik from Serbia. The film stars Miki Manojlovic, Iva Krajnc, Nebojsa Dugalic, Radivoje Bukvic, Ana Kostovska.