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DVD Review

DVD cover

Tears For Sale


Starring: Katarina Radivojevic, Sonja Kolacaric, Stefan Kapicic and Nenad Jezdic
Icon Home Entertainment
RRP: £17.99
Certificate: 18
Available 20 September 2010

Following the massive loss of male life in the First World War a small Serbian village is left with one a single old man to satisfy the needs of all the women. Two of the women are sisters and professional mourners and when one of them accidentally kills the only remaining man they are dispatched to the outside world to bring another back. The problem is that they find two... and both sisters fall in love... and both are unwilling to be the one to give their man up...

Tears for Sale ((Carlston za Ognjenku) 2008 - 1 hr, 26 min, 20 sec) is a surrealistic fairytale directed by Uros Stojanovic from a script by Batric Nenezic and Aleksandar Radivojevic. The film won the Free Spirit Award at the 2008 Warsaw International Film Festival for the director. The film is reputedly the most expensive Serbian film ever made and it certainly shows, the film could easily hold its own against the output of a major studio. Like Terry Gilliam and Jean-Pierre, Jeunet Stojanovic has a dark sense of humour tinged with more than a little touch of the absurd.

The film follows the exploits of two sisters, Ognjenka (Katarina Radivojevic) and Boginja (Sonja Kolacaric), both beautiful, one blond and reserved the other brunet and feisty. Their accidental offing of the near terminal Grandpa Bisa very nearly means their own end at the hands of the other women in the village. It is only their promise, under the threat of a curse, to find more men which spare their lives.

In the world outside the village the girls are confronted by other women equally determined to hang on to the last few men. It is only when they meet the Charleston King (Stefan Kapicic) and the Man of Steel, a circus performer (Nenad Jezdic), that the women appear to have fulfilled their bargain, but on the way back to the village the two women find themselves falling in love.

This is a dark and deliciously visual film. The cinematography by Bojana Andrić, Dragan Đorđević and Nenad Vasić take precedence over what is a fairly simple tale. The overall narrative is there to support the lush look of the film, including more than forty special effects. The whole look is helped by the art direction and costumes and not at all hurt by the fact that the actresses playing the two sisters are both stunning. As this is a post modern fairy tale the acting is accentuated, but this is in perfect keeping with the overall look and feel of the film.

There is an underlying melancholic look at the state of Serbia following World War I which the film turns into black humour, but my Serbian history isn’t that good to pick up the many references, but you don’t really need to know this to enjoy the film for what it is, a dark, adult, erotic fairytale. The film is at times deeply funny, at other times heartbreakingly tragic.

There are many memorable scenes, too many to recount here, but I personally liked the vineyard, the only source of income for the village which doubles as a mine field, hence the reason the sisters are kept busy as professional mourners.

Sadly the disc contains no extras; it would have been nice to have a commentary even with subtitles. The picture is suitably sharp, for a new film, with a Serbian audio track and English subtitles.


Charles Packer

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