Balkan Film Week

from 25th May 2021 – exclusively online
#ArchipelJugoslawien #CommonGroundLeipzig

Introduction for the BFW 2021

Marija Katalinić

Credits: private

Subjectivity is a sticky[1] matter. It seems obvious and intrinsically ours, yet it is a product of complex negotiation between kinship, state governance and personal experiences. Subjectivity ties itself to the notion of an identity and hence, represents who we are to ourselves, how we present and are perceived by others. The body itself is often seen as a space that delineates the individual and the outside world; a physical border between the private and the public sphere. Judith Butler defines the boundary “as a function of the relation, a brokering of difference, a negotiation in which I am bound to you in my separateness.[2]” Borders therefore seem to suggest both differentiation and a relation at the same time. These bordering surfaces protect, break apart, distinct, contrapose, are loose or tight. Borders can be in a form of houses (In Between), plates (Quit Staring at My Plate), bridges (For Those Who Can Tell No Tales), counters (Erased) and landscapes (Homelands).

Common ground: Archipelago Yugoslavia, thus reflects and narrates the story of borders, shared histories, struggling presents and negotiated futures. An archipelago landscape points to a cluster of solitudes (a multitude), sense of power, history and time passed, but also firmness and immobility. Thirty years has passed since the war in once joint federation of Yugoslavia started. Its repercussions are not only those of new borders, but in transformative events ranging from new personal and social distances as well as new connective tissues: new futures built on shared histories. In this year’s Balkan Film Week, we will examine these fractions and archipelagos of differences and similarities in their continuous contesting of subjectivities and ideologies. Depicting violence that led to the disfigured landscape is not the aim of this year’s showcased movies.  Family, nationhood, aspirations and Kafkaesque situations, are juxtaposed at the archipelago of nations. What the images and stories of these films seek is engagement and joint examination of transnational emotions and experiences such as precariousness, loss, freedom and belonging. Common ground is thus an act of understanding the difference, or more precisely, borders, not only as a space of separation, but as a space of brokering the distances, providing care and accepting the other as yourself.

[1] Ahmed, Sara “The Cultural Politics of Emotion”, Edinburgh University Press, Edinburgh, 2004; pp. 11.

[2] Butler, Judith „Frames of War. When Is Life Grievable? “, Verso, London, New York; 2009; pp.44.



The Balkan Film Week is an essential part of the Common Ground – Literature from Southeast Europe project, which presents the Western Balkans as the Region in Focus at the Leipzig Book Fair 2020-2022. The overall theme this year is Archipelago Yugoslavia – From 1991 to Today. And so, also the films we show at the 3rd Balkan Film Week deal with the breakup of Yugoslavia and its long aftermath in the 30 years since.

This year’s Balkan Film Week takes place exclusively online. The links to the films will be available shortly before the screening (for programme details please view the programme grid to the right). This year’s programme is also held as part of Leipzig liest extra – a reading festival organised by the Leipzig Book Fair.

Our programme curator Marija Katalinić has come up with a wonderful programme! Click on the button below to read her introductory text to this year’s theme:

Introduction for the BFW 2021

Thursday, 27th May

7 PM

Online
Quit Staring at My Plate
(Ne gledaj mi u pijat)

Hana Jušić, 2016
105', feature film, Croatia, Denmark
English subtitles

Marijana’s life revolves around her family, whether she likes it or not. They live on top of one another in a tiny apartment, driving one another crazy. Then her controlling father has a stroke and is left completely bedridden, and Marijana takes his place as head of the clan.

9 PM

Online
Sofia's Last Ambulance
(Последната линейка на София)

Ilian Metev, 2012
75´, documentary, Croatia, Bulgaria, Germany
German subtitles

In a city where 13 ambulances struggle to serve 2 million people, Krassi, Mila and Plamen are our unlikely heroes: chain-smoking, filled with humour, relentlessly saving lives against all odds. Yet, the strain of a broken system is taking a human toll: how long can they keep fixing society’s injured until they lose their empathy?

Wednesday, 26th May

7 PM (available till 9 PM)

Online
Erased
(Izbrisana)

Miha Mazzini, 2018
86', feature film, Slovenia, Croatia, Serbia
English subtitles

Ana gives birth at the local hospital and everything goes well. There is only a small problem with the paperwork – her file is not on the computer. A temporary loss of data seems to be caused by a software glitch, nothing to worry about. Within a few days, Ana is entangled in a web of bureaucracy of Kafkaesque proportions.

9 PM (available till midnight)

Online
For Those Who Can Tell No Tales
(Za one koji ne mogu da govore)

Jasmila Žbanić, 2012
72', feature film, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Qatar, Germany
English subtitles

An Australian tourist discovers the silent legacy of wartime atrocities when she arrives in a seemingly idyllic little town on the border of Bosnia and Serbia.

Tuesday, 25th May

7PM

Online
Opening of the Balkan Film Week

With Marija Katalinić and Barbara Anderlič

Balkan Film Week Curator Marija Katalinić and Project Manager Barbara Anderlič kick off the 3rd Balkan Film Week.

Watch the opening talk.

7:30 PM (available till 11:30 PM)

Online
In Between
(Në Mes)

Samir Karahoda, 2019
13', short film, Kosovo
English subtitles

In rural Kosovo, identical houses are built for family members working abroad, in the hope that they will one day return to settle in their old homeland.

9 PM (available till 11 PM)

Online
Homelands
(Domovine)

Jelena Maksimović, 2020
63', documentary, Serbia
English subtitles

A girl born in the former Yugoslavia returns to a mountain village her grandmother fled during the Greek Civil War. The place has become a trendy ski resort and no longer corresponds to her family memories.

Trailers

In Between
(Në Mes)

Samir Karahoda, 2019
13', short film, Kosovo
English subtitles

Homelands
(Domovine)

Jelena Maksimović, 2020
63', documentary, Serbia
English subtitles

Erased
(Izbrisana)

Miha Mazzini, 2018
86', feature film, Slovenia
English subtitles

For Those Who Can Tell No Tales
(Za one koji ne mogu da govore)

Jasmila Žbanić, 2012
72', feature film, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Qatar, Germany
English subtitles

Quit Staring at My Plate
(Ne gledaj mi u pijat)

Hana Jušić, 2016
105', feature film, Croatia, Denmark
English subtitles

Sofia's Last Ambulance
(Последната линейка на София)

Ilian Metev, 2012
75´, documentary, Croatia, Bulgaria, Germany
German subtitles


Common Ground 2020-2022

Want to find out more about past Balkan Film events? Check out the links below:

Balkan Film Night 2020 - LNDI Balkan Film Week 2020