The High Sun
Directed by Dalibor Matanić
Three different love stories, set in three consecutive decades, in two neighbouring Balkan villages burdened with a long history of inter-ethnic hatred: this is a film about the dangers – and the enduring strength – of forbidden love.
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★★★★½ review by Waldo on Letterboxd
This is cinema that matters. Three love stories. One set on 1991, the other in 2001 and the last one in 2011. A film that is thunderous using silence, a film about emotion not words, a therapeutic film I dare say. The Yugoslav wars. Sometimes I think I know all about it but I really don't. I only scratch the surface. What happened there I bet for some people is unspeakable, illogical, a waste of everything that makes life worth living. This film exorcises its country's inner demons, guilt and hatred right on screen. It purges itself in different ways, violent, passionate, emotional. We need more films like this one. Loved it.
★★★½ review by Jure Pl on Letterboxd
A film about war and its (short and long term) implications for relationships between people of different ethnicities that are involved in the war. It's a better example of this kind than Krugovi (Circles), as it manages to portray realistic characters, avoids needless sentimentality and uses an interesting concept of using the same actors to highlight the idea that the people we see are one and the same, yet have their relationships take very different routes due to circumstances they can't control.
seen at Sarajevo Film Festival 2015
★★★★½ review by cinemagazine on Letterboxd
"De brandende zon is in die verhalen meer dan een neutrale toeschouwer. De zomer is hier niet alleen zwoel van hitte, maar ook van een verschroeiende teloorgang in een door oorlog verscheurd Joegoslavië. De prachtige landschapsfotografie staat zodoende in sterk contrast met het menselijke drama. De ontwikkelingen komen daardoor extra hard aan. Dat komt eveneens door de onderhuidse spanning die op ‘The High Sun’ staat. Grote confrontaties worden lang vermeden, maar broeien blijft het onophoudelijk. Van grenzeloze liefde mag geen sprake zijn, al doen de personages nog zo hun best om hun leven langs de zijlijn voort te zetten.
Wie tot welke etnische groepering hoort, wordt daarbij niet helemaal duidelijk. Dat maakt ook helemaal niet uit, doordat het universele karakter van de liefde centraal staat. Dat blijkt ook uit het voortreffelijke acteerwerk van Tihana Lazovic en Goran Markovic, die alle hoofdrollen voor hun rekening nemen. Het laat zien dat dit soort gecompliceerde liefdesrelaties van alle tijden zijn."
★★★½ review by Kaktus Dete 🐇 on Letterboxd
Zvizdan is pretty much realistic movie which explores the relationships between nations and countries. Those characters are only there to make a parallel how stupid our war was and how we lost so much and hurt so many while we were hurt too, and for what? Normal people without any hate in heart would say, for nothing. We lost so many people in that war for nothing. And that is the saddest part.
I like the approach of the same actors in different roles, cause it gives us different angle of watching it and perceiving the whole issue which movie is about. The idea of this feature, I believe, is to remind us that we are all the same, and that we were all the same before the war, before Yugoslavia, before anything. We were one. We were humans, but along the way, we just forgot that.
★★★★ review by Tim Boester on Letterboxd
In many ways, this is a old story: love that is forbidden by the external factors of society. It is here reexamined thrice in the context of the Serbian-Croatian conflict with a doomed relationship just prior to the war, a traumatized one ten years later (after the war), and a tentatively hopeful one ten years after that. This structure, along with the visual imagery associated with each relationship’s timeframe, is a powerful way to document how a war impacts individual lives within a broader context. This is even further extended by having the same actors portray the various characters in these three different relationships.
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