All through Murina, the initially aspect by Croatian director Antoneta Alamat Kusijanovic and winner of the Caméra d’Or at the 2021 Cannes Film Competition, Ante (Leon Lucev) oscillates amongst remaining terrifying and hilarious. His outbursts to protect his satisfaction and superiority in excess of his 17-year-outdated daughter Julija (Gracija Filipovic) are normally so explosive as to be laughable. But her reactions to his impulses preserve the audience in suspense. Could it be that he seriously indicates his insults and stands by his vicious contempt for her? Julija has no alternative but to withstand her father’s handle and threats each individual moment of each and every working day on the attractive but isolated island they contact house. With each individual dawn, she has to accompany him to hunt the murina (eel), always at his support.
Kusijanovic expertly breaks down the pressured servitude and the brutal familial mechanisms of this certain form of patriarchy. To this author, whose have father grew up in the Balkans, these types of machismo and ruthlessness is all as well familiar, nevertheless Ante is considerably far more extreme (thankfully). When Kusijanovic is not pursuing an anthropological or socio-historical job, her tale tends to make transparent the inferiority complicated that generally sales opportunities gentlemen in the location, even now struggling from its war wounds and shame, to construct hypocritical defenses versus their personal weakness and vulnerability. When Javier (a delicate and charming Cliff Curtis), an outdated family members friend and millionaire, visits to likely get the land from Ante and substantially enable the spouse and children economically, Julija witnesses her father shed all self-respect to please him. Future to Ante, Javier appears a beacon of reality and tenderness. And up coming to Julija’s mother Nela (Danica Curcic), whom Javier admits he used to have a crush on, he seems to be like a a lot extra suited partner, at the very least in Julija’s eyes. For the 1st time, she witnesses a partnership in which duties of treatment and psychological openness are not reserved for the woman. Javier is at once the father and the lover that Julija by no means experienced, so constrained and repressed are all her pure instincts for connection and adore in this setting.
As Ante shrinks a lot more and much more in front of Javier, pushed by his desperation to go up in modern society and come to feel improved about himself, and as her have mom keeps patiently tolerating his arrogance, Julija recognizes that all her daily life, her father has used her to fill some void and have someone to stand on, and that she justifies much better. Her emancipation is much much more intricate and genuine than the stereotypical and gendered variety that motion pictures have a tendency to depict. Her oppressor works by using her femininity as an excuse, when what he is definitely focusing on is her organic will need for independence. And in contrast to most coming-of-age tales, Murina is not fearful to faucet into the deep wells of despair and loneliness that often arrive with advancement. Kusijanovic toes the line involving classical epic tragedy and a far more realistic sort of drama, with a fashion that is watchful but direct. She’s aided by the sensitive cinematography of Hélène Louvart, who frames Julija like a sea creature, much more comfortable in the depths where only she can go, but constantly by yourself.
Murina opens in select theaters July 8.