January 15, 2023
Returning to her home town in Croatia, Vera once again faces the family grudges she escaped ten years ago by moving to Slovenia.
Together with her son Jan, Vera returns to her hometown in Zagorje, a rural area in Croatia that she ran away from to Slovenia ten years ago. Upon her arrival, deep-seated family grudges connected with the differing beliefs of Vera and her deeply religious mother Marija resurface. Marija gives Vera an ultimatum that she must baptize her son before her father’s funeral, which further deteriorates their relationship. Unlike Vera, who once again realises that she does not belong in the rural environment of her home town and has not for a long time, her son Jan forms strong bonds with the local children. Moreover, his introverted nature slowly changes to the point where he is prepared to act completely against his mother’s interests.
I have spent most of my life in Slovenia, but lived in Croatia in my youth. Slovenians consider me Croat, Croats consider me Slovenian, and a small group of Croats and Slovenians do not see me as either. In their eyes I come from Zagorje. With this film I wish to explore my relationship towards my family in Croatian Zagorje, a family I did not choose myself, but still remain part of, like Vera. I will attempt to explore my roots and tradition alongside her – though we both object to it and run from it, it remains a deep-rooted part of us.
The film will be shot in black and white, even though the set design and props will signal that the story is set in the present, happening here and now. To preserve the pure naturalism of the chosen environment, I will select non-professional actors to play all the supporting characters. I wish to compose so-called living images, which do not last just mere seconds, but much longer. This extended duration of an image becomes equivalent to being trapped in space and time.
Perfo Production is one of the leading Slovenian independent film and TV production companies established in 2005 by producers Aleš Pavlin and Andrej Štritof. The company recently co-produced the film APPLES (co-production Greece-Poland-Slovenia), directed by Christos Nikou, which was the opening film of Orizzonti section at the Venice Film Festival in 2020. Perfo was also a co-producer of the film PATCHWORK (co-production Cyprus-Israel-Slovenia) directed by Petros Charalambous with the world premiere in Karlovy Vary 2021. Perfo is also the main producer in the postproduction phase of the Slovenian-Czech-Italian-Serbian co-production film VZORNIK (Role Model), directed by Nejc Gazvoda and Slovenian-Israeli-German co-production WILD URGE, directed by Sharon Bar Ziv.