Men Don’t Cry, directed by Alen Drljević, won the best feature film award at the Bratislava International Film Festival this week. The award was received by Slovenian actor Sebastian Cavazza who plays a lead role in the film.
The BIFF jury voted unanimously and said that the cast of Men Don’t Cry displayed an intense emotional and inspirational level of acting in dealing with a tragic historical event. They said the film’s main message of reconciliation was so necessary in today’s political climate.
Men Don’t Cry was also screened at Zagreb Film Festival this week, and it will be screened today at Ljubljana Film Festival LIFFE. Sarajevo’s Cinema City has the film on the regular screening schedule this week.
The film tells the story of group of middle-aged Yugoslav war veterans from different backgrounds who get together for an extended group-therapy session. Promised a compensation for attending, they agree to a “reconciliation course” in a hotel somewhere in Bosnia.
“For most of the running time, the acting and cinematography are almost documentary-like, though there are certainly moments, especially when suggesting how the past haunts or has influenced the present, that the fact Drljević has chosen to work with some of the region’s best actors rather than non-professionals really pays off. And the film’s initially enigmatic opening shot, in which a dead tree divides a Balkan landscape that’s slowly being invaded by mist into two, finally becomes a potent metaphor for the way in which the war, now dead and over, has the potential to still divide a country and cloud the reality and good judgment of its inhabitants,” wrote Boyd van Hoeij in The Hollywood Reporter.