Archive of films Guardian of the Frontier / Varuh meje

Slovenia / Germany
2001, 100 min

Section: East of the West
Year: 2002

Alja, Žana and Simona’s girls-only vacation on the Kupa river, which forms the border between Slovenia and Croatia, gradually turns in a personal drama and the first painful lesson life teaches them.


University students and friends Alja, Žana and Simona decide to go on a girls only vacation – a canoe trip on the Kupa river, which forms the border between Slovenia and Croatia. None of them realises that, from the minute they take up the paddles, a man is watching them. Only at the end of the trip – and it is quite an adventure – do they find out that he is an influential local politician, and a surprisingly conservative and powerful one for his age. He guards not only a border which seems to separate two incompatible worlds, but also traditional Slovenian values and customs. Anyone who doesn’t show the proper respect is liable to get killed. For the rather frivolous trio of girls, encountering this strange man, and the river vacation as a whole, is life’s first big lesson and a tough test of their friendship.

About the director

Maja Weiss (1965, Novo Mesto, Slovenia) graduated in film and television direction from AGRFTV in Ljubljana (1988). She began her professional career as an assistant director on five feature films, and at the same time worked – with Slovenian Television riting and direting documentaries and dramas. In 1993-94 she received a European film grant for the Nipkow programme in Berlin. After returning she organised the first women’s film and video marathon in Slovenia, and was a cofounder of Bela Film production (1998), with whom she made her feature debut Guardian of the Frontier (Varuh meje); the film was awarded, among others, for direction at the Festival of Slovenian Film in Portorož. Award-winning shorts and documentaries include: Balkan Snipers (1991, Balkanski revolveraši), Boy, Brother of Death (1992, Fant pobratim smrti), The Country Teacher (1995, Vaški učitel), Adrian (1998), The Road to Brotherhood and Unity (1999, Cesta bratstva i enotnosti).

About the film

Black & white, 35 mm

Section: East of the West
Director: Maja Weiss
Screenplay: Brock Norman Brock, Zoran Hočevar, Maja Weiss
Dir. of Photography: Bojan Kastelić
Music: Stewart Dunlop
Editor: Peter Braatz
Producer: Ida Weiss
Production: Bela Film, koprodukce/co-production:Taris Film, TV Slovenia
Cast: Iva Krajnc, Pia Zemljić, Tanja Potočnik, Jonas Koršić, Zvonimir Torjanac, Boris Ostan, Gorazd Žilavec

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