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Sivosten webZine :: Zavet (2007)
Zavet (2007)

Author: T. Hristov, Tuesday, 16 September 2008.

In Articles :: Movies & Animation; Propose a Second Opinion

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Emir Kusturica the man who single-handedly made the \"dark Balkan subject\" image into a fashion trend when it comes to western people. He\'s the one who managed to draw that magnificent picture of the life, even the lifestyle of our pretty specific region the Balkans*. And he didn\'t turn a blind eye to any part of it; he didn\'t separate the good from the bad, neither did he present only the beautiful side. He showed the ugliness as well, and challenged the commonplaceness together with the eminence of the Balkan people. And he\'s got the spark - like a truly ingenious artist, Kusturica lays his paints so well that even people not at all involved in art just can\'t ignore his movies. And I\'m sure that even if he adapts the phonebook as a scenario, he\'ll do it in some unusual, interesting and inevitably funny way.

It\'s a village drama of a small caliber, that \"Zavet\" of his. The word means legacy or testament, but it could also be advice in a certain context. The only student in a distant village is condemned to be an illiterate, when a commission closes the school down. So the boy leaves the village following his grandfathers advice, and heads for the big city, where his rather simple principles would imminently clash with the temptations of \"civilization\", though he might find a new meaning to friendship, perhaps even love. Meanwhile, back in the village, a love polygon forms among the teacher, the ministry inspector, the grandfather and quite a lot of people, accidentally showing up and often mistaken for angels.

That\'s Kusturica\'s strength: taking a simple story, mixing it with some uncharacteristic characters, crossing their, previously uninvolved with one another, fates and leading them - with the Wedding March - to the happy end. An obligatory finish to all good stories, for both young and old alike. And if there is any problem with that film it\'s that we\'ve already seen it, somewhat the only difference being, it was called \"Crna macka, beli macor\" (\"Black cat, White cat\"). Both have almost the same scheme, the characters are pretty close, the story is familiar - even the humour itself is not surprising. But that doesn\'t stop \"Zavet\" from being a great movie, nor does it stop it from tingling the soul in such a way as to make you a better man when the final credits disappear.

* Editor\'s note: I would add Goran Bregovic here, at least when it comes to popularization of the music of the Balkans, but of course it\'s just my opinion.

Commentary topic: http://www.sivosten.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=208176#208176

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