LEPOTA POROKA 1986
(The Beauty of Vice)
Directed by Živko Nikolić
In Serbo-Croatian with English subtitles
In the 1980s the fabric of socialist Yugoslavia was unraveling. There had always been a lot of western influences allowed into the country by their president Tito, who in some ways was trying to create a balance between the east and west bloc. But after Tito died in 1980 things started changing fast, causing conflicts between the traditional culture of Yugoslavia, and the modern capitalist consumerism that began pouring in.
So that's what this film is about - that transition, and the culture-clash between East and West. What's the story about? A young couple living in the remote mountains of Montenegro are invited to the city where they're promised life will be easy and money is plenty. The friend who invites them is a bit of a scoundrel, and when he lines up a job for the wife it turns out to be as a servant in a nudist camp for Western tourists. Bang, you can imagine the emotional fireworks that go off. The film shoots off from that premise, but takes some surprising twists and turns. It explores so many contradictions - what is liberation, what is value, what is culture, and what is freedom? It touches upon these questions with a sharp sense of humor, and the film has that explosive Balkan spirit that is so special to that country.
Part of the beauty of the film is that it avoids clichés and is unpredictable, and makes us really think about our own life choices. Mira Furlan began her acting in an early film by Emir Kusturica, and here she is brilliant in the main female role of the young confused wife. This flick was included in the official top 100 Serbian movies, and protected as a cultural heritage of great importance... and that makes it even more astounding that it's basically unknown here in the West, and has hardly ever been shown here.
Doors open at 20:00
Film starts at 20:30
Entrance: 3 Euros