Wars, Gangsters and Corruption

in 53rd International Filmfestival Mannheim-Heidelberg

by Blagoja Kunovski

Four Eastern European films plus one Italian film in the competition showed both, the syndrome of the post-communist societies and the Bosnian war after the dissolution of former Yugoslavia .

The Italian film No Problem (Nema Problema) by Giancarlo Bocchi mostly known as documentary filmmaker shows the phenomenon of war inspired by the Bosnian civil war that has been transformed in a sheer lunacy.

The symbolism of the title comes from the mentality of the Balkans saying “No problems at all!” That is a crucial irony of the absurdity of the war in general. But the Bosnian war was unfortunately supported by the media manipulations worldwide with the journalists acting as a kind of a war profiteers like politicians and diplomats. After letting explode the war in Bosnia into a slaughter these professionals chose the dirty job with no good guys and bad guys but only the so-called truth of the media. The results were thousands and thousands victims, innocent people on three sides of Bosnia : Muslims, Serbs and Croats.

Further more Red Colored Grey Truck (Sivi kamion crvene boj), the debut of screenwriter Srdjan Koljevic’s as a feature film director, starts from the very beginning of what happened later – in the summer of June 1991 when the count down of Ex-Yugoslavia began.

Unlike Koljevic, youngest director in competition, Teona Mitevska from Macedonia shows what really happened in Macedonia in 2001 with her debut film How I Killed a Saint (Kako Ubiv Svetec). This year with its local war conflict is reflected in the life of two young persons. Sister Viola just came back from the Promised Land, the USA , her brother Kokan is a rebel with a cause, protesting against local politicians who are acting as puppets towards the NATO and the EU. Kokan and Viola are witnessing their lost generation in the social and political confusion generated by the hypocrisy of the so-called foreign factor. Teona Mitevska shows how a young man could became a terrorist after being filled with enormous negative energy of injustice (symptomatically, the German title is Mein Bruder, der Terrorist) . The transparent NATO Go Home! Takes part in that protest which caused Kokan’s tragic ending.

The other two very good newcomer films from Eastern Europe Mila from Mars (Mila ot Mars) by Sophia Zornitsa and Bimmer (Bumer) by Pyotr Buslov, both stylish road movies, are individual comments of two nations in transition focusing on gangsters and corruption in contemporary Bulgaria and Russia.

Blagoja Kunovski