The Rhythm of Work
5th Days of Film — The Mediterranean festival of documentary films, Široki Brijeg, September 9th — 11th 2004
Tomislav Topić from Široki Brijeg in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Croatian Film Clubs’ Association general secretary Vera Robić-Škarica, thought out and since 2000 have been organizing a project of presenting Croatian film novelties in a distant small town in Herzegovina, hungry for cultural events with distinctively peaceful omen. Although this was a chance to show the audience in Široki brijeg some attractive films, the program started — with a previous warning in the catalog — sharply: a program of experimental films and unusual documentaries was screened. The program was then widened to include feature film, and then films by the authors from Bosnia and Herzegovina; and this year’s — jubilatory fifth Days — were made international in a wider sense, bearing a subtitle ’Mediterranean Festival of Documentary Film’. Zdravko Mustać chose nine documentaries from six European countries for competition program, and along with this, there was the ’old’-type program. The competition was dominated by documentaries about a human work (Osti, by Tomislav Šang about a night octopus fishing, and Bunarmen by Branko Ištvančić about digging a well, from Croatia; Prva i posljednja by Momira Matovića from Serbia and Montenegro about a hermitic kind of work in a ’God’s’ man quarry; Trg heroja by Kalesis Theodore from Greece about the rituals of burning; a film by Italian Carmelo Nicotra about problems that the Greek author Theo Angelopoulos encountered when making his film). There were also films which showed people at work, but also in their leisure time (Croatian film La strada by Damir Čučić), as well as films showing people at leisure time exclusively (the Spanish Oscar Perez in his film Xavo — Xavi, where there is only one shot of a long tram ride, and Croatian film Život ili san by Mladen Ćapin about a teenage boy’s day dreaming). Grand prix went to a touching documentary Sarajevski pas by Haris Prolić from Bosnia and Herzegovina, about a dog that had kept a connection between parents and their son who was eventually killed in the war, and now the dog is very old and has to be put to sleep. Accompanying programs of the festival were also varied. Audience could see four film from Bosnia and Herzegovina: Slike sa ugla by Jasmila Žbanić (a French photographer shot pictures of a seriously wounded girl in Sarajevo, without trying to help her); Bijele ruže by Tomislav Pokrajčić and Rista Osterjovski (a handful of extraordinary scenes); Svjedok vremena by Žana Mrkonjić (a photographer who has been doing his job in Mostar for more than half a century); and Raj za stokilaše by Robert Bubalo (footballers who have to weigh more than a hundred kilos). Experimental program from the production of Croatian Film Clubs’ Association was represented by for new films: Sinaj by Zdravko Mustać; Mörder unter uns by Ivan Faktor; Grad, gradovi by Vedran Šamanović; and Arabeska by Damir Čučić. Feature-length program offered two documentaries (Sretno dijete by Igor Mirković, and Fahrenheit 9/11 by Michael Moore) and one feature film (Tu by Zrinko Ogresta). During the festival, there was a presentation of the book The First BH pop-rock lexicon. The Festival of Mediterranean Documentary Film in Široki Brijeg posses a characteristic that is so rare at Croatian film events — good organization with all elements of a holiday, there was a well balanced schedule of screenings and entertainment programs (sightseeing of the restored bridge in Mostar, a picaresque part of the Neretva river seen from the motor boats, uniqueness of the spring of the Lištica river...). The crown of the ever lively festival atmosphere is based on numerous conversations about film, on polemics on films seen at the festival, on information on the position of documentary film in the Mediterranean.
ANALITICAL CONTENTS: Quotations, quotations; Mediterrane in Široki Brijeg; The rhythm of work; The rhythm of work and leisure; The rhythm of leisure; The Sarajevo dog; The established rhythm; The filmography of the festival and the awards