Last night (March 7), a new episode of the NBC-TV show ER focused on Luka Kovac, Goran Visnjic's character, and three of his collegues for practically the entire hour. The show had some psychological undertones.
During the show, Luka Kovac noted that he was in the Croatian Army, that his father is a conductor of a tram in Zagreb but an amatuer artist (in actual life, Visnjic's wife is an artist) and that as a young man he had studied acting and had played Shakespere. There is then a scene where he and Dr. Carter (played by Noah Wylie) recite Hamlet's soliloque. Carter remembers only the first half, Luka finishes it in Croatian!
There is also a scene where Carter and Luka are getting on each other's nerves. Luka says that the group should come to Croatia to which Carter replies: "Who would want to go to the Balkans to get themselves blown up?" Luka replies: "It's a beautiful country, Zagreb, Dubrovnik . . . ."
A later scene has them fencing against each other (it's too difficult to explain how this happened). The fencing gets very rough and they begin fighting. When the fighting breaks up, Luka begins to curse in Croatian (I won't tell you what he says - but as my wife noted it's cool to understand it knowing that no one else knows what he's talking about!).
Bravo Goran Visnjic! You deserve as many gold medals as Janica!
Op-ed I am not sure if all of you do understand the power of the word, but Goran did it. Just to hear our own language and also to be so legitimized, as a nation, as a language. Where is our ministry of Tourism? What are they waiting? Remember the shrimp and Hogan (Australia). What is our country doing? Does anybody have any sense of what it means to be the most watched show in America and not use this for the promotion? Visnjic in a role as Ante Kostelic? Just name it. Anything. Kukoc played for three rings, every game in front of 50 million people worldwide. No systematic promotion whatsoever. Just blew it like this. Bono from U2 spoke words from Ivan Gundulic (I suggested it and rehearsed with him till he learned it - O, lijepa, o draga o slatka slobodo. O, beautiful, o precious, o sweet liberty) and it is on the CD sold in 2 million copies. On the same CD I recited part of "lijepa nasa" (national anthem) as a narrative part in "Can We Go Higher?" (in video done by John Malkovich).
Language is identity.
Bravo Goran! I am amazed!
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