Midwinter Night's Dream (2004)

Discussion in 'Archive' started by llanes13, Oct 16, 2008.

  1. llanes13

    llanes13 Guest



    Rating: 7.0/10 (184 votes)
    Runtime: 95
    Language: Serbo-Croatian
    Country: Serbia and Montenegro
    Color: color

    Description: Serbia. Winter 2004. Lazar has been in jail for ten years. Returning to a changed country, a "free" man, he sets about trying to forge a new life for himself in a country that wants to put as much distance as possible between the present and the past.

    Trying to take up where he left off, Lazar goes to his old apartment, only to find it occupied now by Jasna, a single mother with a 12 year old daughter Jovana, who is autistic. The child's father is nowhere to be found, having long since consigned his complicated family situation to his past and gone to seek fortune elsewhere.

    Lazar is a bit of a hard man. Even so he can't bring himself to throw his new "tenants" out into the street with nowhere to go. Little by little, then, a new kind of "family" takes shape, consisting of these three outsiders, people who have no choice but to face the uncomfortable truths every day of their lives.

    Goran Paskaljević:
    "The inital idea for the movie came from the observation that parts of the Serbian population seem to have willingly embraced a kind of autism that they hope will save them from having to confront the consequences of recent history. If we all live in an eternal present moment, then the past never happened and we are all "innocent" like Jovana.
    Jovana seemed the perfect way to embody this idea. She's locked inside her head with no real connection with the world. Against her I contrasted Lazar, a man who has literally been locked away, in prison, for ten years; a man with a violent past. From that moment, it was all about the characters, though, and I let the metaphor take care of itself!

    The next big challenge was casting. Could an actress play Jovana? Would the "pretending" necessitated by such a choice work against the emotional heart of the film? I decided to try to use an actual autistic child in the role. Right away, it became apparent that this wasn't the easy option.

    Working with Jovana, supporting her through her performance and making sure she was comfortable and at ease all the time became the central priority of hte production. I'm not sure that anybody else has cast an autistic person in such a central role in a feature film before.

    Which brings us to the moral issue. We had no real idea of how much Jovana understood of what was going on around her, and were well aware that what we were doing might be interpreted as an attack on her dignity. That's a discussion that can never be concluded. Let me just say that Jovana was a full participant in this film. We were always alert to her slightest discomfort or tiredness, and wove the schedule around her needs. Her performance, if I may say so, is incandescent. I really think she benefitted from starring in her first feature film!

    To close here, I'd just like to quote something from Professor Tomkiewicz: " The greatest violence that one can do to an autistic child is to let that child stagnate in autism."

    Rar Password: gross
    English, French, Macedonian subs included in archive (.idx/.sub)

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