Vancouver Serbian Film Fest Preview
Recently I had the great pleasure of previewing two well crafted films from the upcoming Vancouver Serbian Film Fest.
St. George Shoots the Dragon is a film about war, tolerance, and love, set primarily in the year 1914 during WWI, in and around a small Serbian village on the border of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. The story follows the tumultuous plight of three star crossed lovers as they struggle to survive during impossible times.
Director Srdan Dragojevic moves his characters through Dusan Kovacevic's dark, brooding screenplay with grace and a sense of heaviness that elegantly places the viewer within the pages of the story. The story is both unforgiving and effective.
Written after the 1984 highly acclaimed theatre production of the same name, (also by Kovacevic) the story is based on a true story told to Kovacevic by his grandfather.
Lazar Ristovski delivers a strong performance as the gendarme Djordje Dzandar and Dusan Joksimovic's work with the camera is captivating.
Here and There is the story of a New York musician who has lost his lust for life and though a series of events, finds himself in Belgrade, Serbia. He is jaded, angry, and cold as he seems to step from one dreary existence only to find himself in another.
That is until he meets Olga (played by the incredible Mirjana Karanovic) a vibrant, intelligent, unassuming woman with the power to shake his world to the core.
David Thornton delivers a subdued, yet powerful performance as the struggling musician Robert. Writer/director Darko Lungulov shows us a side of life both real and sad, leaving us longing for more and writing our own ending at the same time.
This may be a love story of sorts, but quite thankfully this is not a Hollywood film. Instead, it exudes a sense of authenticity and honesty rarely seen in contemporary films, and a freshness that breaks all the rules, while at the same time, it breaks your heart.
The Vancouver Serbian Filmfest runs November 10th to 13th at the Hollywood Theatre, 3123 West Broadway, (604) 738 3211.