After screening within the framework of this year’s Future Frames initiative of the European Film Promotion at the 52nd Karlovy Vary International Film Festival, “Ljubljana – München 15:27”, Slovenian up-and-coming director Katarina Morano’s second short (fiction) film is now screening in the newly established “Competition program – Student Film” section at the 2017 Sarajevo Film Festival.
“Ljubljana – München 15:27” is the story of Mala and Jure who live in Ljubljana and see their present existence as temporary. They’ll forget about work and their apartment when the longed-for moment arrives: the day they leave Slovenia and set out for Germany to find “something better.” But, Mala is expecting a baby and it looks like it’s time to start realizing that the temporary may be permanent.
Director Katarina Morano captures these young people at the delicate moment when they realize that the temporary becomes permanent and that, maybe, that is not so bad. Therefore, she presents us with Mala whose life is going to change as she savors the last moments of life as she knew it. “Ljubljana – München 15:27” is a supine and almost oneiric film that tackles the way we say goodbye to what we know. Mala’s jaunt through well-known streets and environs acquires an almost sacred deference as she listens to the sounds of the outside world and sees places she may never see again or see the same way again. The moment she ventures into a club, alone with her racing thoughts, while enjoying the music, depicts yet another sorrowful moment with a touch of bittersweetness. This is because she realizes that the world she lives in is indifferent to everything, indifferent to what she is going through, and in spite of the tumultuous changes in her and Jure’s lives, it goes on as if nothing has happened, and will continue so, ever the same, long after they’re gone, her family being, perhaps, the only consolation that she will be missed. But this hint of despondency also gives way to hope, even if it is colored with fear of the unknown. Indeed, in the final shot of the film, we see Mala and Jure in the bath, almost as if it were a scene of renaissance, in which they are cleansing themselves as they begin de novo. While Jure is concerned, Mala hopes that everything will be fine.
The film shies away from superfluous dialogue. The techs are all very good, especially Domen Martinčič’s cinematography that moves between the naturalistic and the magical. Echoing this airy and fragile quality is Hana Vodeb’s special performance as Mala, carrying the entire film with her almost incorporeal presence. Vodeb’s tenderness, sensibility and emotional intelligence make Mala a complete character the actress fully embraces and makes her her own.
With a naturalistic style and based on a generation of misfits throughout Europe, “Ljubljana – München 15:27” is a remarkable, raw and poignant short film that shows Morano’s unique talent. Hopefully, the 42 minutes of the film will not deter short film programmers from selecting it at their festivals, for not doing so would certainly be a mistake. A highly recommended gem.
Producer: Nina Robnik
Director: Katarina Morano
Screenplay: Katarina Morano
Cinematography: Domen Martinčič
Production Design: Neža Zinajić
Costume design: Ilina Čolak
Editing: Andrej Nagode
Cast: Hana Vodeb, Jure Henigman, Tijana Zinajić, Borja Srdić
Color – 42 min.
Premiere: 04/07/2017 (Karlovy Vary International Film Festival)