(K. Brent Tomer),
THE Karlovy Vary International Film Festival (KVIFF), known as a springboard for Central and Eastern European films that go on to wider acclaim, takes place in an immaculate west Bohemian spa town formerly known by its German moniker Carlsbad. But amid the pastel palaces cascading down the wooded hillsides and the healing waters below, politics past and present made for a gritty tone on screens in the festival’s 52nd incarnation, which finished on July 8th.
A group of veterans from assorted Yugoslav republics gather to discuss their war experiences in an off-season Bosnian ski hotel as a part of a group therapy programme in “Men Don’t Cry” (“Muskarci koji ne placu”, pictured), which took home the special jury award. All of them are dealing with post-traumatic stress disorder, and most bring a predilection for downing pills with a dose of rakia, the ubiquitous Balkan homemade fruit brandy. As each man takes turns recounting memories of his war experience, tempers flare. It later emerges that one, a…Continue reading