10/05/2010 05:30

New Croatian Cinema: "Donkey"

Antonio Nuic’s “Donkey”/”Kenjac” (“kenjac”, Herzegovinian name for a donkey) is first of all beautifully written (Nuic is also the script writer), superbly acted family drama, directed with emotion. This is a touching and deeply humane story about estranged son Boro’s return to his hometown, a small Herzegovinian village, locked in rocks and scorched. Boro manages to resolve a conflict he had with his father, that burdened him for years, that ultimately helped him to also resolve issues with his wife.

The art of loving those closest to you or respecting women is not a “science” that Nuic’s heroes ever learned. Expressing love is scanty, like Herzegovinian karst which Mirko Pivcevic shot so beautifully in sepia tones, delving deeply and intimately into every hero, where all of them, in times of a turning point in Bosnian war (summer of 1995), experience their own respective breakdowns and turning points to eventually become united by one cute, silly animal.

Nebojsa Glogovac in role of Boro is capable of expressing even the most subtle inner states of mind and soul. His powerful acting “sparring partner” is his brother Petar who managed, together with his family, to escape from Sarajevo, albeit in a wheelchair, played by magnificent Bosnian actor Emir Hadzihafisbegovic, while role of his wife Jasmina is superbly played by Natasa Janjic (we’ve seen her in “St. George Shoots the Dragon”)…

Dubravka Lakic, Selector of international programme CCIFF