Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Svjedoci (Witnesses, 2004)* * *

Set in a Croatian village during the Balkans war. Three soldiers come in the dead of night, open the door to a house and mow down a civilian with their machine guns. They retreat to a nearby home with a recent war widow -- her husband is laying in the coffin in the living room. The men are nervous, all conversations are conducted in whispers. The woman hovers like a witch. What is her relationship to the young soldiers? Did she order the killing? Or are have they taken her hostage? Thus begins Svejdoci (Witnesses) a murder mystery set in a small Croatian village during the the Balkan war.

The mystery is unraveled by retelling the same critical hours from the perspective of different characters at the center of the mystery. Color is slowly added to the picture and we begin to understand each character better. It is an interesting technique. One by one, each character become 3-dimensional and eventually when the last story is told, the pieces of the mystery fall together

I thought the movie was interesting and I like the unusual cinematography and the greenish light in most of the shots. I was sucked in by the stories and enjoyed trying to solve the mystery. Kaja found the movie a bore.

Watched via "Instant viewing" on Netflix. Svejdoci on Netflix. The nice thing about instant viewing on Netflix is that you can try out movies. So if you are curious you can watch the first 15 minutes of Svejdoci and see if you are like me, and get intrigued, or like Kaja, and get bored.

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