Choose of the Day: “Murina”


Once we spoke to Antoneta Alamat Kusijanović about her function directorial debut throughout its run at Cannes final 12 months, she advised us, “It was essential for me to painting each the [evolution] and the constraints we expertise whereas rising into ourselves — that’s ‘Murina’ for me. It’s the path of birthing your self. It’s going by way of the storm, and thru deep underwater tunnels.” The movie, which went on to win Cannes’ Digicam d’Or award, is a recent fairy story following a pissed off younger lady as she slowly realizes she needs to be her personal knight in shining armor.

Teenaged Julija (Gracija Filipovic) lives together with her household on a secluded island off Croatia’s Adriatic coast. She spends most of her time diving for eel, or murina, together with her domineering father Ante (Leon Lucev), and avoiding his verbal and bodily abuse with the assistance of her mom Nela (Danica Curcic). At greatest, Nela’s light, soothing demeanor defuses stress among the many household; at worst, it permits her husband and implicitly victim-blames her daughter.

Julija, understandably, desires to get the hell out of Dodge. Nonetheless, having no viable technique of escape, she resigns herself to enviously watching wealthy youngsters her age partying on a yacht and goofing round on the seashore. Then, with the arrival of the rich businessman Javier (Cliff Curtis), Ante’s former boss and Nela’s ex, Julija sees a possibility to lastly dwell the life she’s dreamt about.

Javier is visiting to debate a attainable enterprise take care of Ante — he’s contemplating shopping for the household’s land to develop it as a resort — but makes use of the majority of his journey to have interaction in head video games. Charismatic and worldly, he brazenly flirts with Nela, oscillates between flirting with Julija and appearing as a father determine, and will get into bizarre masculinity tug-of-wars with Ante. Mainly, Javier is lukewarm concerning the potential resort however very keen about fucking with the household. Ante, in flip, feels disrespected and takes it out on his household, specifically his daughter. (Living proof: Julija clothes as much as impress Javier. Ante tells her she has “boy’s shoulders.”) After all, it takes a minute for Julija to acknowledge that that is what’s taking place; at first, all she cares about is {that a} wealthy dude is taking an (obvious) curiosity in her future, and getting away from her ogre dad.

Going into “Murina,” I anticipated it to be a non secular successor to “An Training,” “Fish Tank,” or the newer “Slalom,” compelling tales about bright-yet-naive teen women whose eyes are opened — for higher and for worse — by older, extra skilled males. However this movie, a thematic growth of Kusijanović’s award-winning brief “Into the Blue,” is known as a portrait of a youngster slowly coming to grasp her personal energy, realizing that, regardless of every little thing, she has a light-weight that may’t be snuffed out. I ought to’ve identified that from the primary sequence, from the best way cinematographer Hélène Louvart (“The Misplaced Daughter”) filmed Julija diving together with her father. Swimming deeper and deeper in her mild cyan one-piece, spear in hand, she seems to be formidable. She’s no little unvoiced mermaid, she’s a tough-as-nails murina who will do no matter it takes to outlive.

All issues thought of, Julija’s journey is definitely harking back to that of one other fairy story protagonist, “The Wizard of Oz’s” Dorothy. Regardless of desirous to flee her dwelling, the polar reverse of Dorothy’s purpose, Julija, too, discovers she doesn’t want anybody to avoid wasting her. She had the flexibility to do this all alongside.

“Murina” is now in theaters. Kusijanović wrote the script with Frank Graziano.

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