Strong genre offering in Redemption Street
by Vladan Petkovic
13/07/2012 - Starring the region's internationally best known actor Rade Šerbedžija, popular Gordan Kičić (who also produced and is credited with the idea for the film) and Uliks Fehmiu (White White World), Redemption Street is a straight-forward political thriller, an unusual approach in Balkan cinema. This is a pure genre film which compensates the lack of suspense with strong acting and stylish directing.
Dušan (Kičić) is the new deputy prosecutor in the Special Court for War Crimes in Belgrade (situated in Ustanička Street, which is the original title of the film). His boss (Šerbedžija) hands him a case that is considered closed, and involves Blackbird (Fehmiu), a former member of a paramilitary unit which used to operate in Croatia and Bosnia, and was executed in Kosovo. But there is no conclusive evidence that Blackbird is dead and Dušan starts a search for him.
Dušan lives with his wife Irena (Jelena Dokić) and father (Predrag Ejdus), and as we follow his family story, in a parallel strand we see Blackbird and his wife (Milica Mihailović) hiding and struggling to make a living. This is an unusual scriptwriting approach for a thriller by Djordje Milosavljević (Enemy [trailer, film focus]) and Nikola Pejaković, and partially robs the film of suspense as we are all the time aware of the side of the story that is the opposite to our hero's.
But Terzić's directing is assured, with an appealing rhythm that picks up after the first 30 minutes, and Miladin Čolaković's camera work is reminiscent of wide angle shots and bleached colours of Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy [trailer]. Kičić, Šerbedžija and Fehmiu are more than convincing and there is some powerful one-on-one interplay in several sequences. Redemption Street was produced by Belgrade-based Film FilmKombajn and the international rights are handled by Fortissimo Films.