Tuesday, February 20, 2018

How Iva Left on September 16, 2016

Kako je Iva otišla 16. rujna 2016.; drama short, Croatia, 2016; D: Tomislav Šoban, S: Nika Mišković, Pavle Matuško, Petra Mikolić, Ivica Gunjača, Dino Mileta

Iva (30) graduated from University, but could not find work in Croatia. She thus studies Norwegian language to prepare herself to emigrate to that Scandinavian country. She has a tender farewell with her boyfriend one last time before she departs at the airport.

One of the most mature and grown up movies to ever come out of Kino Klub Zagreb, Tomislav Soban's 18-minute short is a movie that defies the cliches of the Croatian "social drama" genre: even though its topic is about unemployment and young people emigrating out of their homeland, it refuses to be melodramatic, sentimental or sappy, and instead presents all of these issues so subtly, so neutrally that many will not even be bothered by them while they watch the film. "How Iva Left" has two erotic sequences that stand out, both of which are surprisingly sad and melancholic: one is the sequence in which Iva is lying on her bed in underwear, nostalgically masturbating one last time at her home before departing into an unknown country where she will be a stranger, and part of this moment is filled from another building, as the camera films her through the window. The other is when she is in a freezer storage room, to simulate the cold Norwegian weather, and gives her boyfriend a hand job (off screen) one last time before their inevitable break up. "Iva" is a tender, though also bitter film, with astringent and uncouth beauty, where Soban chooses a shaky, hand-held camera to give it a more authentic feel of realism, whereas its main actress Nika Miskovic is an astounding discovery in the independent film world.

Grade:+++

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