Saturday, August 11, 2007

Sorry for Kung Fu

Oprosti za Kung Fu; Tragicomedy, Croatia, 2004; D: Ognjen Sviličić, S: Daria Lorenci, Vera Zima, Filip Radoš, Luka Petrušić, Vedran Mlikota, Ivica Bašić

Mira returns to her native Dalmatian Zagora with a bus. She lived on German territory as an asylum seeker until she was kicked out by the authorities. When she enters her old home in an backward village, Mira announces she got pregnant by an unknown man, shocking her father Jozo and mother Kata. In order to save their reputation, they proclaim she is a widow and decide to quickly find her a husband. Mira's brother on the other hand doesn't agree and backs her up. She doesn't like the matchmaking game but she soon get her veins and gives birth to a son - a Chinese! Jozo becomes so angry she runs away with her baby. Years later she returns and her family finally accepts her.

Tragicomedy "Sorry for Kung Fu" was filmed in 2004 but wasn't able to find a distributor to play in cinemas for over a year, remaining stuck in status quo - sadly, it seems the distributors realised it isn't much of a film after all. "Kung Fu" visited many film festivals, gained acclaim by critics and ended up turning fairly popular by the public in cinemas, but all in all it's just a paper thin story with overstretched elements that tried to ridicule the backward, patriarchal traditions of primitive villages in Dalmatia, but turned out primitive and backward itself. The talented director Ognjen Svilicic formed the story about the pregnant, but unmarried heroine Mira with minimalistic style, making the film seem ambitious, clear and nicely structured, but the minimalistic points became so minimalist that they practically evaporated into nothing. Although easily watchable, this film has only a solid quality because it didn't use the potentials of the interesting story and turned out slightly misogynist. Some jokes are pretty funny, like in the scene where Mira returns home while her father descends downstairs with a full urinating bowl in his hand or the one where, after Mira gave birth to a Chinese, some guys start imitating Kung Fu movements. But as a whole the film doesn't manage to intrigue the audience, it doesn't know what to do or what to say (hence, it's running time is only 70 minutes) and most of the events are anemic. Too bad, because with more skill and humor, "Sorry for Kung Fu" could have been a great satire.


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