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GOD EXISTS, HER NAME IS PETRUNIJA

by Teona Strugar Mitevska

synopsis

Every 19th January during Epiphany, a unique ceremony takes place all around Macedonia: the high priest throws a cross into the local waters while hundreds of men charge for it. The one who finds it is blessed for the whole next year and becomes kind of a local hero. Petrunija is single unemployed 31-year-old woman and a historian who lives with her parents. Returning home from a failed job interview in a sweatshop factory she witnesses the ceremony, decides to jump, swims and catches the cross. Immediately, the men attack her and wrestle the cross out of her hands since as a woman she has no right to participate. A commotion follows and at the moment of heightened confusion Petrunija runs away with the cross. Over the next few hours her jump into the icy water becomes an Internet sensation. Petrunija is taken to a police station, and this is where her ordeal begins: against the local men, against the world, against the system. From a room to a corridor, to a room again, she spends the night being transferred around the impersonal governmental spaces. She insists that she is the winner and refuses to return the cross. One by one, the policemen, the inspector, the priest unsuccessfully try to convince her to give up. Through these 24 hours we discover a society full of stereotypes, with collapsed social and justice system.

international title: God Exists, Her Name Is Petrunija
original title: God Exists, Her Name Is Petrunija
country: Macedonia, Belgium, Slovenia, Croatia, France
sales agent: Pyramide International
year: 2019
genre: fiction
directed by: Teona Strugar Mitevska
screenplay: Teona Strugar Mitevska, Elma Tataragic
cast: Zorica Nusheva, Labina Mitevska, Stefan Vujisic, Suad Begovski, Simeon Moni Damevski, Violeta Sapkovska, Petar Mircevski, Andrijana Kolevska, Nikola Kumev, Bajrush Mjaku
cinematography by: Virginie Saint-Martin
film editing: Marie-Hélène Dozo
art director: Vuk Mitevski
costumes designer: Monika Lorber
producer: Labina Mitevska
co-producer: Sébastien Delloye, Marie Dubas, Zdenka Gold, Danijel Hočevar, Elie Meirovitz
production: Sisters And Brother Mitevski, Entre Chien et Loup, Vertigo, Spiritus Movens d.o.o., Deuxième Ligne Films, EZ Films
backing: Eurimages
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