Film Archive

Jahr

Dum Spiro Spero

Documentary Film
Croatia
2016
50 minutes
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Nenad Puhovski
Pero Kvesić
Srđan Sacher
Pero Kvesić
Ana Šerić
Pero Kvesić
Danijel Pejić
Let’s not kid ourselves – dying is one of the more unpleasant things we have to cope with in life. Not to mention broken hazard lights, lampless light bulbs, fractious spouses, and a sister-in-law who can never find her mobile phone when she wants to leave the house (at last). Comfort comes in the form of a wonderful relationship with the mother-in-law that is based on mutual disregard, a well-run household in which books have taken over all the rooms, and an old dog with whom you’re competing about who will be the first to kick the bucket …

Dum spiro spero, to quote Cicero: while I breathe, I hope. But breathing can be a bit tricky when you have only twenty percent lung volume left, like Pero Kvesić. With a declining trend. The basic sound of this film (besides Kvesić’s Jew’s harp) is his wheezing as he moves through his shrinking universe, camera at the ready. Kvesić, who wrote countless novels, but also scripts for documentary and animation films, documents his decline with a sure sense of rhythm and detail. Without mawkishness, laconic and with the pitch-black, deadpan sense of humour with which people in the Balkans face death and other terrible diseases. It’s about dignity, self-determination and the next cigarette. Maybe breathing is overrated. And maybe we hope while we laugh?

Grit Lemke


Nominated for MDR Film Prize

On the Water

Documentary Film
Croatia
2018
79 minutes
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Hrvoje Osvadić
Goran Dević
Damian Nenadić
Jan Klemsche, Vanja Siruček
Goran Dević
Martin Semenčić
Rivers may be simple geographical entities. But beyond that they are eloquent micro-milieus where history and stories have accumulated. The rivers Save, Kupa and Odra flow through the centre of the Croatian industrial town of Sisak. They were and are the lifelines of the city and the region. The rivers may appear like pastoral havens today, but the countless narratives of the past emerge more openly there than anywhere else.

Most of the river dwellers’ and users’ lives around which Goran Dević structures his film are linked to the events of the Yugoslavian civil war and its ethnic and social conflicts. Even though it was more than two and a half decades ago, this historic period seems like a parallel reality which throws its shadows over the protagonists like a permanent trauma. “On the Water” is a poetic and political study about the changeability and constancy of people and spaces in which the dividing line between the two is permanently blurred.

Ralph Eue


Honorable Mention in the International Competition Long Film