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Croatian Cinema Today at the Aero Theatre in Los Angeles May 16-18, 2008
By Ziggy Mrkich | Published  05/2/2008 | Culture And Arts | Unrated
5 Croatian films to be screened in Los Angeles


Consulate General of the Republic of Croatia, Los Angeles  and the American Cinematheque present CROATIAN CINEMA TODAY from May 16 -18, 2008 at the Aero Theatre in Santa Monica.  The series boasts an impressive line-up of US and Los Angeles premieres of five of the best Croatian films of the past two years.  Opening night screens the US premiere of THE LIVING AND THE DEAD (ŽIVI I MRTVI) directed by Kristijan Milić who will be in attendance with actor Filip Šovagović  for a Q&A following the screening.

In addition, on Opening Night, there will be a reception in the Aero Theatre lobby and a presentation of Croatian wines by Blue Danube Wines.


Friday, May 16 - 7:30 PM
US Premiere
Q&A with Kristijan Milic and Filip Sovagovic
Reception to follow
2007, 109 min
Dir. Kristijan Milić

Based on the best selling novel by Josip Mlakić, this anti war drama is one of the region's best films to emerge in many years. We follow the story of two Croatian platoons, separated by ideology, uniforms, and half a century, fighting in the same Bosnian forest.  The worlds of 1993 and WWII collide in a secret and timeless cemetery.  The author's intention of illustrating the madness and absurdity of war is well demonstrated by an ensemble cast.  This directorial debut by Milić is well shot, acted and edited and is a favorite among festival programmers.

Double Feature
Saturday, May 17 - 7:30 PM
LA Premiere!
2006, 80 min.
Dir. Drazen Žarković

A bitter-sweet look at life in a small charming village on a tiny island where four card-playing friends play Tressette every night.  With most of the island's population relocated to bigger cities, the friends are faced with a dilemma when one of them unexpectedly dies.  This in turn brings the old man's daughter back to the island where she decides to stay and pursue new horizons.  While the remaining three friends approach several people, including the local priest to take their friend's place at the table, many of the islands secrets are revealed.

2006, 109 min
Dir. Hrvoje Hribar
Q&A with Hrvoje Hribar

One of Croatia's best romantic comedies in years, we follow the poignant yet hilarious tale of an aging immigrant worker returning home from Germany, and a pretty young widow who falls in love with the handsome local priest from a bankrupt parish, struggling to come to terms with his own alcoholic past.  He is not blind to her love, but is unable to choose between the young widow and his commitment to the church, until circumstances force him to. 

Double Feature
Sunday, May 18 - 7:30 PM
LA Premiere!
2007, 82min
Dir. Ognjen Sviličić

Armin and his father travel from their small Bosnian town to Zagreb, Croatia's capital to audition in a movie.  Armin's father Ibro desperately wants his teenage son to be famous and makes him take acting classes much to Armin's embarrassment, while Armin just wants to play the accordion.  After numerous awkward moments, Armin finally realizes how much his father loves him.  A deeply touching film about love and self respect, Sviličić 's film has garnered several awards and festival screenings and was Croatia's submission to this year's Academy Awards.

LA Premiere!
2006, HRT, 90 min
Dir. Branko Schmidt

Inspired by the true story of twelve illegal Chinese immigrants who drowned in the river Sava on the border of Bosnia and Croatia during the war of the 90's.  One Chinese girl survives the river and seeks refuge in an old house near by.  The house belongs to the former Croatian soldier who was ferrying the refugees across the river.  Initially, he's reluctant to have her about but soon warms up to her when he realizes she's the target of ruthless human traffickers.  The language and cultural barriers between the two give an added dimension to the film as their love for each other unfolds, but the painful realization that it is hard to carry an inescapable burden: one's place of birth remains.

Formatted for CROWN by
  Marko Puljić
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