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on 09.02.2009. | 19,790 views
 Žarko lives in Croatia. His brother Veljko lives in Slovenia. He met his wife Darija at the swimming pool near the River Sutla, under the Figaro Bridge ...
The documentary film «Stories from the Border» has been inspired by the relationship between Slovenia and Croatia, that is currently at the centre of attention, more than we could have dreamed when we started shooting the film.
More than a year ago we began what you could call ‘personal research’ and we ventured through various degrees of comprehending the real-life situations and the understanding of this issue that is often subject to prejudice. Those prejudices become greater as the distance from the countrys’ borders become greater. The citizens of large cities live under the influence of the political propaganda spread through the media, and that is in total opposition to real life and the quality of co-existence of the inhabitants of the border areas. This contrast of the high politics and the so-called common people is the subject of this film.

While making the film the creative team, including the screenwriter Davor Šimanović and the director Željko Sarić, witnessed the power bureaucracy has on life near the border.
They needed to obtain permission from both the Croatian and Slovenian police for each shot, and for crossing a bridge with a camera in their hands, they needed a police escort with flashing lights.  To organise a few days of filming near the border was extremely demanding for the production team as life writes a new story every day under the watchful eye of the borderline police. This film puts those stories into pictures - the stories from the border.

Short synopsis of the film:
Up until fifteen or so years ago, the border with Slovenia was something of a hole in the ozone for me. I knew it existed, but I never got to see it except on television, and then it became a borderline between two independent counties. But it still did not seem to me as something very serious. I was able to cross the border practically without noticing it, and when visiting Slovenia it did not feel like travelling abroad. I used to go to buy nappies for my children, to change my car tyres … or if there was no room in the pub in Samobor (a town near the border) we would go for a beer in Slovenia.
And then a few years ago, the “Slovenian” border had disappeared and instead become the Schengen border separating the European Union from the “West Balkans”. It sounded so serious, and I had the feeling that the Slovenians had moved away from our neighbourhood and to Brussels.
Fortunately the relationships that have been developing for centuries are not so easy to separate. This is particularly the case for the regions of Žumberak, Zagorje , Prigorje …
In all of these regions, the River Sutla is actually the border. Many larger and smaller bridges that cross the river, and have been connecting people from both sides, became the border control for the two states overnight. This has made the everyday lives of the local inhabitants of these regions pretty complicated; many of them have property, friends and jobs on both sides … but not only that, they also have memories. The way in which these borderline disputes between the two states are reflected on the people who live there, and how the people perceive the whole issue, is the subject of this film, the film that has unfortunately become more topical than the authors really wanted it to be.

Davor Šišmanović

Shot and directed by: Željko Sarić
Screenplay by: Davor Šišmanović
Produced by: Nikola Klobučarić

Read what others say about the 'Stories From the Border'.
Press material (photographs in full resolution) can be downloaded here.




Comments (1)

  1. #1 13.07.2009 at 13:41 ante


    bravo za natječaj na hrtu!