Brother Dejan: Human… too human
by Giovanni Melogli
- LOCARNO 2015: Bakur Bakuradze’s feature film, in competition at the Locarno Film Festival, tries to offer ‘another’ view of a Balkan war criminal
Without dragging Nietzsche into things, Brother Dejan [+see also:
film profile], a feature film in competition at the 68th Locarno Film Festival, tries to offer ‘another’ view of a Balkan war criminal. Dejan Stanic, a former Serbian general, has been on the run for years, fleeing an International Criminal Court arrest warrant. Bakur Bakuradze’s film tells the story of the general’s last few months on the run before being arrested.
As the director explained at a press conference: “I wanted to do a piece on fate, on the memories of a public figure, like the former general, who finds himself taking his last steps across the great stage of the world”.
The character Dejan Stanic (Marko Nikolic) finds himself holed up in the house of Slavko, an elderly man who lives a spartan existence in an isolated mountain village. His listless days are occasionally interrupted by having to move to avoid capture and meeting wartime friends.
The film doesn’t make any explicit reference to the crimes perpetrated by the protagonist, and which Bakuradze, for artistic reasons, does not reveal: “I didn’t want to include elements in the film that would lead the audience to judge the character and his past, my aim was to paint a portrait of the man and how he faces his fate”.
The film slowly and half-heartedly plods on to the inevitable capture of the protagonist. The references to the inner peace achieved by the former general which, according to the director, comes from him overcoming his sense of eroding guilt, are puzzling… unfortunately we don’t see this inner process transpire in the film.
(Translated from Italian)