Published Sep 22, 2009It's no mistake that our manipulative antihero call girl protagonist Aleksandra (an impressive Nina Ivanisan) refers to herself as "Slovenian Girl" in escort ads, appealing to diplomats involved in the European Union, visiting Slovenia during their reign in trio-presidency. Nor is it a mistake that she is a money-obsessed whore given to nascent super-nationalist leanings in a post-communist state. Slovenian Girl isn't subtle in this capacity but it is an engaging and thought-provoking little film that should appeal readily to art house audiences.
In the opening scene, Aleksandra enters a hotel room to find a German member of European parliament suffering a heart attack after popping some Viagra. When he keels over, she calmly calls the front desk, placing the onus of police involvement on them, while raiding the man's wallet and quickly sneaking out.
Everything seems fine and well until her escort name is released to the press, leaving other clients, and pimps, wiser to her involvement, and thereby exploiting the information for their benefit. Unable to find refuge with her vengeful ex-boyfriend Gregor (Uros Furst), Aleksandra hides out with her father (Peter Musevski), who is none the wiser to her dealings.
An unembellished aesthetic follows the calm and collected call girl from one situation to the next, capturing an ice-cold young woman capable of lying and manipulating her way into, and out of, anything. It's a commendable balancing act on the part of actress Nina Ivanisan, who manages to do the despicable with a quiet and seemingly innocent charm.
Like many European films, Slovenian Girl isn't necessarily about growth, as weight is never placed on change or an over-riding arc. Rather this is a film about a girl preserving herself, and her wants, in the most immediately gratifying way possible.
In this sense, it is a political story with a modern sensibility and geographical relevance. (Vertigo/Emotionfilm)