‘Men Don’t Cry’ (‘Muskarci koji ne placu’): Film Review | Karlovy Vary 2017

Alen Drljevic, a former partner executive of Golden Bear personality Jasmila Zbanic (‘Grbavica’), creates his underline novella entrance with this demeanour during veterans of a Yugoslav Wars.

A organisation of prime Yugoslav War veterans from opposite backgrounds get together for an extended group-therapy event in Men Don’t Cry (Muskarci koji ne placu), a novella underline entrance from Alen Drljevic. The rookie cut his filmmaking teeth as an partner executive on a films of Golden Bear personality Jasmila Zbanic (Grbavica, On a Path), and she’s a writer here, yet there’s also a clarity that their partnership goes deeper than that, with Men Don’t Cry almost functioning as a testosterone-addled match to a female-focused stories of Zbanic. Both move a penetrating eye for fact and shade to stories that try a troublesome new past; macho attitudes and shame; concept amiability vs. racial divides and sacrament and tradition vs. atheism and contemporary Western attitudes. The pic went home with a Europa Cinema Label and a Special Jury Prize during a new Karlovy Vary International Film Festival and will interest to other festivals and distributors.

Most of a story unfolds in a nondescript, off-season hotel in a plateau of Bosnia, where a volunteering group-therapy leader, Ivan (Sebastian Cavazza of On a Path), from what is now Slovenia, has corralled a organisation of quarrel veterans from a opposite corners of former Yugoslavia for what is substantially an intentionally vaguely patrician “reconciliation course.” Most of a organisation aren’t indispensably even all that meddlesome in revisiting their wartime practice again — and even reduction so with people from a racial groups they were perplexing to kill or risked being killed by — yet during a finish of their few days there, they have been betrothed a financial prerogative for their participation, that many of a organisation could substantially use, saying how their daily lives are filled with divorces, traumas, unemployment, disabilities and other upsetting realities that can all be during slightest partially related to their wartime experiences.

The film, created by a executive and Zoran Solomun, who co-wrote Zbanic’s For Those Who Can Tell No Tales, primarily seems calm to usually observe a organisation of organisation as they initial play innocent-looking games — they are pelicans and penguins, using after any other — and afterwards lay down for their initial organisation talk. Ivan’s statement, that is used as a starting indicate for a discussion, is that “each side committed quarrel crimes” during a dispute some dual decades earlier, that immediately throws off a few of a men. The confrontational Andrija (Ljubjana-born Primoz Petkovsek of No Man’s Land), for example, can’t trust his Croat compatriot, Valentin (Leon Lucev of Grbavica), feels like he can wandering from or during slightest doubt a supposed quarrel account of his racial group, something that goes not usually for a Croats yet also a Bosnians and a Serbs.

Like in a films of Zbanic, what interests Drljevic isn’t that all his protagonists turn improved people by a finish of his narrative, that is not picturesque and robs a several storylines of any probable torment or intrigue. Indeed, some of a attendees will take off early, competence set glow to someone else’s skill or sojourn confirmed in their personal chronicle of a war. What matters is that, like Ivan, a film isn’t cruelly judgmental about these opposite reactions yet instead incorporates a accumulation of them to advise something of a extent and existence of a opposite forms of ways people are traffic with their dire past.

Ivan suggests a organisation re-enact a essential quarrel memory as well, yet a tangible purpose of a exercise, that is to give them an event to “correct” one of their regrets by role-playing, isn’t clearly settled during a start. Valentin, for example, gets to relive a impulse one of a organisation underneath his authority elite to dedicate self-murder rather than be killed by Serbian forces, a manly cathartic knowledge for him prisoner by cinematographer Erol Zubcevic (Snow, Children of Sarajevo) in short, staccato and twitchy handheld shots with a unequivocally singular abyss of margin that advise something about a difficulty and miss of clarity of both a impulse in a past as good as his response to reliving it in a present.

Through late-night conversations in their common rooms, as good as chaff during breakfast and late-night celebration and singing sessions, some-more sum emerge about a men’s conditions during and after a war. The fact a protagonists sojourn partially transmutable is partial of a film’s core message, suggesting how each side in a quarrel suffered and there were no genuine winners. The prime Muslim Bosnian, Merim (Emir Hadzihafizbegovic of Grbavica), is so fearful of a dim and says it’s a impiety to wish to die, while his many younger Muslim compatriot Jasmin (Boris Ler of In a Land of Blood and Honey), who incited 18 and was sent to quarrel opposite his will during a tail finish of a war, has turn a nihilistic non-believer who’s cramped to a wheelchair. But their roles — or, indeed, those of any of a others — could have been topsy-turvy if things had left differently.  

Men Don’t Cry finally functions best as a divulgence look inside a formidable alloy of poisonous masculinity, racial struggle and real-life traumas that was caused and heightened by a dispute rather than as a some-more normal account about a masculine or organisation on a approach toward redemption. This choice, that creates a film opposite from Zbanic’s narratives, is both a film’s biggest strength and a transparent weakness, as it suggests something about a psychology of a masculine class in a specific context of a Balkans and a region’s many new conflict, yet also creates a already darkly themed film a harder sell commercially, as examination a film during times unequivocally does feel some-more like examination tangible therapy sessions than experiencing an romantic story of change and salvation by a character.

For many of a using time, a behaving and cinematography are roughly documentary-like, yet there are positively moments, generally when suggesting how a past haunts or has shabby a present, that a fact Drljevic has selected to work with some of a region’s best actors rather than non-professionals unequivocally pays off. And a film’s primarily puzzling opening shot, in that a passed tree divides a Balkan landscape that’s solemnly being invaded by obscurity into two, finally becomes a manly embellishment for a approach in that a war, now passed and over, has a intensity to still order a nation and cloud a existence and good visualisation of a inhabitants. Not everybody competence advantage from therapy, assembly with their peers from opposite a order or even usually articulate about what they went through, Drljevic seems to suggest. But for some of a veterans, it competence unequivocally transparent a atmosphere and lead to a brighter future.

Production companies: Deblokada, Iridium Film, Produkcija Ziva, Manderlay Films, This and That, Cineplanet
Cast: Boris Isakovic, Leon Lucev, Emir Hadzihafizbegovic, Sebastian Cavazza, Ermin Bravo, Boris Ler, Ivo Gregurevic, Izudin Bajrovic, Primoz Petkovsek
Director: Alen Drljevic
Screenplay: Alen Drljevic, Zoran Solomun
Producers: Damir Ibrahimovic, Jasmila Zbanic
Director of photography: Erol Zubcevic
Production designer: Mirna Ler
Costume designer: Sanja Zeba
Editor: Vladimir Gojun
Music: Dado Jehan
Venue: Karlovy Vary International Film Festival

In Bosnian, Croatian, Serbian
98 minutes