Archive of films Requiem for Mrs. J. / Rekvijem za gospođu J.
Serbia / Bulgaria / Macedonia / Russia / France
2017, 94 min
Section: Another View
There are some countries where it isn’t easy to get even simple things done. All the more vexing, then, is when you decide to commit suicide and only have a few days to get your affairs in order, and neither task goes according to plan. This sarcastic peek into the Kafkaesque soul of restructured Serbia made its mark at this year’s Berlinale.
Mrs. J. is an unemployed widow suffering from a protracted bout of depression. She never leaves or cleans the overcrowded, prefab flat which she shares with her mother-in-law, her school-aged daughter, and an older daughter and her fiancé. Wholly indifferent to her surroundings, she is planning her suicide, which she intends carrying out on the anniversary of her husband’s death. There are only a few things she still has to sort out: returning a chair to her neighbour, cancelling her insurance policy, and arranging to have her photo placed on the tombstone. But none of these tasks is as simple as it seems. An acutely sarcastic portrait of a country's journey from socialism to capitalism – a place where it’s become impossible to live and impossible to die. The procedural account of the pilgrimage that, for Mrs. J., becomes a series of bureaucratic errands is reminiscent of the inwardly pressing atmosphere underlying the films of the Romanian New Wave. The insidious tone conveyed in the director’s script is transfigured in Mirjana Karanović’s at once understated and emotional performance into a weighty testimony about generations whose life ended with the political transformation of the state.
About the director
Bojan Vuletić (b. 1977, Belgrade) graduated in film and television direction from the Faculty of Dramatic Arts of the University of Arts in Belgrade. He contributed co-screenwriting talents to Stefan Arsenijević’s internationally successful projects Love and Other Crimes (2007; Another View, KVIFF 2008) and the story showcase Lost and Found (2005), screened at Berlin and Karlovy Vary. He then launched his own writer-director career with the feature Practical Guide to Belgrade with Singing and Crying (2011), which premiered in the East of the West Competition at KVIFF 2011. In his second feature Requiem for Mrs. J. he continues to analyze the mentality of contemporary Serbia, somewhat less comically this time around. The film, which won the Works in Progress Award at KVIFF last year, was screened at this year’s Berlinale in its world premiere.
Soul Food Films
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About the film
|Dir. of Photography:||Jelena Stanković|
|Art Director:||Zorana Petrov|
|Producer:||Nenad Dukić, Pavlina Jeleva, Tomi Salkovski|
|Production:||SEE Film Pro, Geopoly Film, Skopje Film Studio|
|Cast:||Mirjana Karanović, Jovana Gavrilović, Danica Nedeljković, Mira Banjac, Vučić Perović|
|Sales:||Soul Food Films|