26 October 1999 | Mravsky
Bad work by Ljubisa Samardzic
Indeed a very disappointing piece of work by Ljubisa Samardzic. The charming "Borivoje Surdilovic" from some old times has let, apparently without much resistance, the recent Serbian nationalistic and anti-Albanian histeria pollute his artistic endeavor. What he produced is so cheap and sad. The film does nothing but reinforce old Serbian stereotypes about Albanians as hopeless primitives and about Serbs being totally cooler that the whimpy Westerners. Wrapped in a transparent veil of a light crime story, the only value of the plot is that some of the premeditated and stubborn-beyond-repair among the war-exhausted Serbian audience will enjoy yet another demonstration, or better "proof" of how primitive and evil those darn Squiptars are. How insensitive of you, dear Ljubisa. We used to love your warm and human, no matter how troubled characters from your early works. Even your brief role in "The Premeditated Murder", a recent film after a book by one of the best modern Serbian writers, Slobodan Selenic, was such. Ljubisa, your homeland has been through so much trouble recently. The last thing it needed is adding oil to the fire. Many side remarks in the film are offensive to Albanians. Even if some might believe that stereotypes about them are true or even entertaining, these are too subtle times to bring them up and stir the poop. You should've known better, Ljubisa.
Apart from the very strong, rather unfortunate, political overtones, the film is slow, dragging, and arduous. It just failed to capture. Whoever is acquainted with the animosity between the Serbs and Albanians, and given that the film comes from the Serbian camera, could've predicted just about every next scene in the movie. The attempt to mix in a little Romeo-Juliett romance between the two youths from the opposing groups was weak at best. The film was just too political. The acting, apart from Ljubisa's, his movie daughter's and the bad villain's, is quite bad. A thumb down. Sorry.