Published Sep 07, 2012Initially a disjointed narrative, the contemplative and deliberately paced Krivina vacillates between Miro's (Goran Slavkovic) present day ennui in Toronto and fractured, piecemeal stories of his past in Bosnia prior to emigrating. Long takes of him staring at apartment buildings or walking down dirt paths mix with a distorted and increasingly oppressive soundtrack to exaggerate his feelings of alienation and an overall sense of foreboding and displacement permeating this 70-minute film.
In literal terms, this oblique and fractured nomadic meditation is about a man seeking an old friend wanted for war crimes during the Civil War in Bosnia. Television footage inserts suggest that Miro's friend, Dado, has been spotted back in Bosnia, leading our mysterious protagonist down a path of exploring his past and resultant identity.
But as stories of a school bus accident in Bosnia jump into the narrative, as do conflicting voiceovers about Miro's past – it's never clear exactly when he fled to Toronto – the nature of this journey becomes increasingly complicated and almost otherworldly.
The most obvious thematic interpretation of Igor Drljaca's extremely slow and economic art film is the nature of identity obfuscated or distorted by war and geographic dysphoria. Unable to settle down in one place, Miro's constant walking and travelling, reflecting on a conflicted and unclear past, suggests his lack of a home has also established an inability to interpret himself. Inevitably, this exploration folds in on itself during the expressionist third act, but the overall affect of war on the individual is omnipresent.
It's just unfortunate that this thoughtful template is such a draining view, spending minutes at a time focused on Miro's shaving or walking down a path. There's an abundance of static footage existing without aiding tone or reflection, suggesting that this extremely short and padded feature-length film might have been more effective as a mid-length short. (College Street Pictures)