Magazine article Variety

Death of a Man in the Balkans (SMRT COVEKA NA BALKANU)

Magazine article Variety

Death of a Man in the Balkans (SMRT COVEKA NA BALKANU)

Article excerpt


Death of a Man in the Balkans



After a composer commits suicide in his Belgrade apartment, the neighbors enter to wait for police and paramedics In ?Death of a Man in the Balkans.? Plausible but absurd, this stylized black comedy Is a scorching expose of the national character and human frailty. Shooting from the fixed perspective of a computer wehcam, Serbian helmer Miroslav Moineilovic crafts a witty, brilliantly choreographed exercise in misc-en-scene that takes place In real time and has more entrances and exits thait a French farce. Expect further fest action for this high-concept, smartly thesped plc, which nabbed Karlovy Vary?s Forum of I umlependents prize.

After the fatal gunshot rings out and the body of the dead man (Nikola Kojo) falls slightly outside lime frwum?, the first on the sceii(? is concern(?(l, coritrollmg handyman Aca (Enilr Hadzihalizbegovic). Soon, Aca is joimied by the liter ally full-of-brans Ves k o (Kadoslav Milcnkovic), from the apartment below. While their wives (Nalasa Ninkovic ami Anita Mancic, respeclively) wander in and out, the men appreciaite the deceased's decor, laste in raki (more than slightly overdoing and traditional drink to the dead), and remember tool set, and simple to remember his first name.

The appearance of an opportunistic undertaker (Bojan Zirovic), who has been tipped off by the ambulance crew, shocks Aca and Vesko, who close ranks against him. But more shocking still is the cavalier behavior of the paramedics (Milica Mihajiovic, Bojan Lazarov) and police (Lijubomir Bandovic, Branislav Thfunovic) when they finally arrive, and display more concern for their personal mobile phone conversations than for the dead man. The entrances of a glib real-estate agent (Nikola Djuricko) with a reluctant client (Mirjana Karanovic) in tow, and finally a pizza deliveryman, add to the humor. …

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