Dave's Rating:


… not a happy movie.

Who's in It: Mirjana Karanovic, Luna Mijovic, Leon Lucev, Kenan Catic

The Basics: A mother and a daughter struggle to get by in post-war Sarajevo. They're poor, the kid gets rebellious, and mom has to work two crappy jobs to survive. They also live with an ironic secret regarding the identity of the child's father. The fact that the movie is mostly about the quietly desperate aftermath of not only the war but the "ethnic cleansing" (aka genocide) of the country and the rape of over 20,000 women makes that secret a fairly easy one to figure out.

What's the Deal? People use the words chick flick (and in the past, women's picture) way too much, and it's an expression barfed up mostly to describe movies made by men that simply star women who often spend the movie's entire running time chasing down a man. So then you have a movie like this, one that's not merely about women but about women that other movies ignore and made by a woman who really pays attention to the details of women's lives. The lives ignored here are the ones that revolve around chatting on cell phones and shoe shopping (like the characters in Because I Said So). The people of value here are the ones history discarded, victims of male wars that destroy women's and children's futures. It'll make you trip over using chick flick in a sentence ever again.

About That Title: Grbavica is the name of the town where it's set. Symbolic, of course, it translates to woman with a hump. No, I can't pronounce it either.

Why You Shouldn't Be Put Off by the Subject Matter: I just sat here for several minutes trying to think of a good reason why, and I only came up with the fact that it's got a somewhat hopeful ending. Because, truthfully, it's not a happy movie. I'm just not the kind of person who gets depressed viewing movies about unpleasant real-life stuff. If you are, perhaps you ought to get over that. It'll open up a whole world of really fascinating movies you could be watching.


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