Presented by MIFF
In this tense coming-of-age drama direct from Cannes Critics’ Week, a teenage boy confronts the political injustice upheld by his mother.
It’s 1996 and the streets of Belgrade are filled with student protesters denouncing Slobodan Milošević, whose autocratic regime has been one of suppression and cruelty, involving electoral fraud, assassinations and police brutality. But while his friends have rallied to the cause, soft-spoken 15-year-old Stefan is torn: his sophisticated and attentive mother, Marklena, is a spokesperson for the government, frequently appearing on television to dismiss claims of violence and voting schemes. Schisms start to appear, threatening Stefan’s bonds with both his peers and his family.
Vladimir Perišić’s first film in 13 years is disquieting and deeply personal, arising out of his own complex relationship with his mother, who worked for the Milošević government. For her part, Jasna Đuričić (Quo Vadis, Aida?, MIFF 2021) delivers an intricate performance that embodies Marklena’s duality as loving mother and fascist supporter, while Jovan Ginić’s affecting portrayal of Stefan won him the Louis Roederer Foundation Rising Star Award at Cannes. With quiet grace and mesmerising cinematography, Lost Country shows identities in flux and incomplete, with differing shades of political consciousness emerging to fill in the cracks.
Impressive [and] nuanced … There is an urgency and restlessness in the film that finds an echo in the political protest of a modern generation.
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