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  • According to ALISSA SIMON of "Variety", this is a high-concept omnibus film developed from an idea by Serbian film critic/producer Nenad Dukic, that brings together five shorts by young lady directors from the republics of former Yugoslavia, all incorporating pregnancy in some way. Of variable interest and varying length.

    Each segment is titled simply with the name of the country in which the action takes place, and separated from the next by a brief fade to black. The episodes reflect the economic, sociological, cultural and religious differences among the various countries. Strongest in terms of craft, performance and narrative is the suspenseful "Serbian Story." Tale of an expectant mother (Natasa Ninkovic) sharing an emergency room with a charming killer (Sergej Trifunovic) offers the piquant twist of an O. Henry yarn. While "Serbian Story" seems complete as a short work, ambitious drama "Bosnia & Herzegovina Story" feels more like an open-ended treatment, with nuanced acting that suggests complexities beyond the scope of the short running time. The narrative centers on a financially strapped Sarajevo family (Bosnian stars Emir Hadzihafizbegovic and Jasna Ornela Bery play the parents) forced to find a new place to live, while the pregnancy of Dutch U.N. official Hedder (Nina Violic) by the family's proud son (handsome Feda Stukan) is more tangential to the story. Uneven "Macedonia Story" unfolds in a private clinic where a junkie (soulful-looking Iva Zendelska) battles to keep her baby. Director Dzidzeva's hyper-real visuals and poetic framing make an impression despite the risible script. The longest but least engaging of the five, melodramatic "Croatian Story" follows a mentally unstable painter (Nera Stipcevic) who must decide if she should undergo a "selective reduction" because one of her twins will have Down syndrome. Still, notable production design supports the feeling of two worlds between the painter and her businessman hubby (Goran Bogdan). Arriving last, the attenuated "Slovenian Story," about a nun (Lucija Serbedzija) with her own version of immaculate conception, ends the omnibus on an awkwardly humorous note. Performed almost as silent comedy, the segment doesn't rep Slak's best work.

    In conclusion, it could be stated that the film would not attract a very large audience, but that it was definitely worth seeing.
  • The omnibus consists of five segments, each was directed by a different person (all women directors from the countries of former Yugoslavia). The segments have one topic in common - pregnancy, although they also portray typical problems of the transition in these countries.

    All segments are rather interesting to watch. The only issue that an average viewer might find repulsive is that the film is quite "dark". The only exception is the segment from Slovenia (the last one in the omnibus), which ends in a rather positive and feel-good attitude.

    The darkest story is the Croatian one. The main character Sonja (Nera Stipicevic) has to deal with two serious problems, the obsession caused by the death of her mother and pregnancy with one of her twins having Down syndrome. In my opinion, one of her struggles would be just enough. This way it offers a point of view that is too pessimistic.

    The second segment comes from Serbia. It takes place on New Year's Eve and tells a story of Milena, a pregnant woman whose husband, a taxi driver, gets killed in the street. Therefore she takes too many sleeping pills and ends in a hospital. Nurses and doctors are in high celebration spirit, so it seems that nobody really cares for the patients and their problems. The only person available for conversation is a charming young criminal who lies in another bed. Unlike Croatian story, this segment contains some humor so it would probably be more appealing to the average viewer, although the topic is very "dark" again.

    The third segment is from Bosnia and Herzegovina and tells a story of Heder (Nina Violic), who is an OSCE employee from Holland. After spending a year in Bosnia, she is about to leave to Afganistan. She wants her career to prosper so she is willing to sacrifice her relationship with Haris (Fedja Stukan), a man from Sarajevo who she fell in love with. However, she seems to have second thoughts after she discovers she is pregnant.

    The fourth segment is from Macedonia. It takes place in a state hospital where a young pregnant junkie has to fight for the future of her baby. Beside the pregnancy issue, the segment strongly portrays the problems of social differences and inequality in present-day's Macedonia, where money seems to be the only measure for everything, which is especially obvious when tycoons and people from the bottom of the social scale confront.

    The fifth segment comes from Slovenia and is the most interesting in my opinion. I find it genuine, optimistic and very unusual. It's the only segment I would rate with a 10. It tells the story of a nun who undergoes artificial insemination and therefore gets expelled from her convent. The funny thing is that she's taken the vow of silence, so nobody knows what really happened. Croatian actress Lucija Serbedzija plays the nun and she is absolutely brilliant in her role. It is amazing to watch all the feelings she expresses without saying a word (in the entire segment she says just one word). The segment also portrays some serious problems typical for transition and poverty, but it has a rather positive attitude. It shows that human spirit is unbeatable and that will probably make you smile and feel good in the end.