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Men Don’t Cry

DirectorAlen Drljevic
ProducerDamir Ibrahimovic, Jasmila Zbanic – Deblokada (BA); Iridium Film (SI), Produkcija Ziva (HR), Manderley Films (DE), This and That (RS), Cineplanet (RS)
WriterAlen Drljevic, Zoran Solomun
CameraErol Zubcevic
EditorVladimir Gojun
CastBoris Isakovic, Leon Lucev, Emir Hadzihafizbegovic, Sebastian Cavazza, Ermin Bravo, Boris Ler, Ivo Gregurevic, Primoz Petkovsek, Jasna Djuricic, Izudin Bajrovic
Original TitleMUSKARCI NE PLACU
Year2017
Length99 min
CountryBosnia and Herzegovina/Croatia/Slovenia/Germany
SubtitlesEnglish
SectionEXCITING, CURRENT CINEMA
ScreeningFriday 9 November | 19:30 hours | Filmhuis Den Haag

A compelling Bosnian story with brilliant performances of the main actors Isakovic, Bravo, Hadzihafizbegovic, Lucev and Gregurevic. This remarkably refined film was the Bosnian submission for the Oscars and won the best film awards at the Karlovy Vary, Bratislava, Ljubljana, Zagreb and Goteborg FF. The screening will be followed by Q&A with the director Alen Drljević.

Synopsis

It has been more than 20 years after the wars in former Yugoslavia ended, but the wounds of those who participated in them are still open. In this tense drama, a group of war veterans are trying to overcome lack of trust, prejudice and cross the invisible enemy lines by opening their hearts to each other. They are hoping to find a relief from a nightmares which are haunting them for over two decades. Despite a support of a patient and devoted facilitator, it is obvious that a reconciliation both with one’s own traumas and with the former enemies is an unpredictable path full of thorns. Brilliantly written and directed, the film does not only deal with personal emotional discomforts, it also brings up the treatments and position of war veterans in the post-conflict societies.

Festivals & Awards (selection)

Karlovy Vary IFF, 2017 – Special Jury Prize, Best European Film (Europa Cinemas Label) | Zagreb FF, 2017 – Best Feature Film | Festival of Slovenian Film, 2017 – Best Minority Co-production | MedFilm Festival, Rome 2017 – Best Film | Ljubljana IFF, 2017 – FIPRESCI Prize | Bratislava IFF, 2017 – Best Fiction Film | Sarajevo FF , 2017 – Young Audience Award | Cleveland IFF, 2018 – Winner George Gund III Memorial Central and Eastern European Film Competition | Goteborg FF, 2018 – Best International Film | Prishtina IFF, 2018 – Best Balkan Film | LET’S CEE FF, Vienna 2018 – Honourable Mention | Academy Awards, 2018 – Bosnian entry for Best Foreign-Language Film

Director’s statement

In the summer of 2010, I signed up for a training event that a peace organization offered to war veterans from former Yugoslavia. My primary aim was to conduct a research that was to serve as the basis for a short documentary. Having myself been a soldier in the Bosnian war, I thought that such a workshop would be the best possible immersion into the ”story”. As for my personal experience of the war, I thought it was a closed chapter in my life. But the workshop captured me completely. I was sitting with people who had literally fired shots at each other. Or, to put it more precisely: we had fired shots at each other. There was tension, yes, but what started in an atmosphere of mistrust and discomfort eventually turned into a quite uncommon relationship of understanding and compassion. Emotional tensions, unusual dynamics in communication and, finally, the catharsis experienced in the workshop have made me decide to make a feature film on the subject.