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From 7 September 2023

The Happiest Man in the World Najsrekjniot čovek na svetot

Teona Strugar Mitevska / North Macedonia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Slovenia, Denmark, Croatia / 2022 / 100 min / Bosnian

The latest work of Macedonian cinematic superhero Teona Strugar Mitevska. The comical surface of the speed-dating scene and the irony-infused title reveal an insightful and touching study of the Bosnia and Herzegovinian society, where 30 years later, the consequences of war are far more present than it seems at first glance.

Photos

Asja, a 40-year-old single woman lives in Sarajevo. In order to meet new people, she ends up spending her Saturday in a blind-dating event. She is matched with Zoran, a 43-year-old banker. The hopeful couple’s initial light-hearted conversation establishes their similarities, yet, as their skeletons tentatively start leaving the closet, it becomes evident the pair are on opposite sides of the battlefield. It appears that they may have met in the not-so-distant past and that Zoran is not looking for love, but forgiveness.

“This is a story about the precariousness of life, about chance encounters that bring together the aggressor and the victim, reviving the painful past; this is a story of impossible connections, of love and absurdity. /… / I see this film as a symphony of choreographed movements unpacking layers of emotions which slowly entangle the viewer to a point of vertigo-like state. Location is essential: an 80’s hotel, built in brutalist architectural style, witness to Ex-Yugoslav past, and then there is the injured city of Sarajevo, a testament to open wounds and pains of former times.” (Teona Strugar Mitevska)

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