Through the story of a truck driver in the midst of a conflict in Kosovo carrying a mysterious cargo to Belgrade, the Serbian director questions his country's collective conscience against the unspeakable.
from Ognjen Glavonic
Serbian movie, 1 hour 38
It's impossible not to think of Salary of fear Georges Clouzot to the vision of this first film by Serbian director Ognjen Glavonic who follows a truck driver, Vlada, carrying a mysterious load on the roads of his country. Except that we are in 1999 in a former Yugoslavia at war and that his truck is transporting from Kosovo to Belgrade anything other than arms. Former unemployed worker forced to provide for his family, Vlada, does not prefer to ask questions about the nature of this cargo and arranges temporarily with his conscience.
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The director embarks us in his cabin throughout this day trip through a devastated country without a future. Derogating from the strict order given to him not to stop, he takes on the road a young hitchhiker who dreams only of going to Germany, stops in a restaurant where an improbable wedding takes place and walks around in the remains of a monument to the glory of the struggle of partisans against Nazism. This journey is also the journey of his consciousness towards a truth that he refuses to face. That of the unspeakable which is never named – the massacres committed by the Serbian nationalist army – on which rests all the dramatic tension.
A past never mentioned
If the metaphor is sometimes awkward, the film's interest is nevertheless to bring for the first time a Serbian point of view on the conflict and to show how difficult it is to talk about it. " A terrible event of our past, a crime never mentioned or understood "explains the director, who thus directly questions the collective and individual responsibility of his fellow citizens.
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Like Vlada, interpreted with great force by the Croatian actor and director Leon Lucev, many preferred not to ask questions and continue to live as if nothing had happened. The end, moralistic and ambiguous – it seems nostalgic of "Glorious" Communist past of his country – however diminishes the strength of this courageous film and the careful realization.