Thursday, January 29, 2009

Fine Dead Girls

Fine mrtve djevojke; Drama, Croatia, 2002; D: Dalibor Matanić, S: Nina Violić, Olga Pakalović, Inge Apelt, Ivica Vidović, Milan Štrljić, Jadranka Djokić

Lesbians Iva and Marija rent an apartment in a building owned by the old Olga and her husband Blaž. Marija's conservative father hires a prostitute to separate her from Iva, but the plan fails so he decides to "at least" sleep with her since he hired her, but due to all the excitement he dies from a heart attack. After Olga accidentally enters the girls apartment and sees them having intercourse, she instantly starts to hate them. Olga's son rapes Iva so Marija kills him, but the tenants kill her. Years later, Olga kidnapped Iva's son because she thinks he might be her grandchild. But Blaž kills Olga and returns the son to Iva.

After very stylish comedy "Cashier", restless director Dalibor Matanic once again showed his talent in drama "Fine Dead Girls", the first Croatian film with gay protagonists that seems as if it didn't come during the "black hole" in Croatia's cinema - it's refreshingly modern, without pathetic, pretentiousness or mannerisms (except until the grotesque finale) while it's full of elegance. Most of the credit goes to Matanic's satirical side, which is why the story has scenes like the one where a stranger hires a prostitute; she automatically starts to disrobe but he gets scared and leaves the room. Later on he explains her that he hired her for a "divine task" of separating lesbian Iva from his daughter Marija. In another scene, a comical gynecologists spots nuns approaching and says: "Oh, nuns! Again? Come in!" Especially touching is the ending where Blaž rises above all the backward mentality of the people that surround him and does a really good deed. Still, it's a pity that the sole heroines in the story, lesbians Iva and Marija, are somehow sadly one dimensional and seem to be pushed in the background by the supporting characters, while some moments are rather heavy handed. But regardless, this is such an explosive drama with a social commentary that not even Fassbinder would be ashamed of it.


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