Previously at the ICA - Films
1 Jul 2011 – 14 Jul 2011
★★★★ Irish Times
'An unforgettable central performance from Natasha Petrovic' Little White Lies
This vivid intensely gripping exploration of the Bosnian war recounts, with an unflinching gaze, the fate of a young female teacher caught in the wrong place and time. It’s a film about how any of us might cope with enduring the unimaginable horror of war. This isn’t remotely like the dramatization of the ‘Human Spirit’ Hollywood is so fond of, but something far more complex, devoid of cliché and mired in moral compromise.
Croatian writer Slavenka Drakulić’s best known work in English is her novel Frida’s Bed based on the life of Mexican artist Frida Kahlo. She’s an author deeply interested in the role of women in history and has found a worthy talent in Irish debut feature director Juanita Wilson’s incredibly potent and confident adaptation of her account of the Bosnian conflict.
The film asks us to reflect how we ourselves might cope in similar circumstances while critiquing the personal cost of survival – particularly when others don’t. What sets this film apart from virtually all war films, and places it firmly in the company of iconic war cinema such as Klimov’s Come and See, is its absolute refusal to resort to hollow sentimentality or cheap thrills.
Instead we have a deeply affecting account of a group of women resisting the dehumanizing effects of being held as prisoners in a war over issues so far removed from their everyday lives as to make it a mere abstraction were it not for the human cost to themselves and their loved ones.
The 1 July 8.45pm screening is followed by a Q&A with Juanita Wilson, Director of As If I’m Not There.
Dir. Juanita Wilson, 2010, Bosnian, Serbian and Croatian with English subtitles, 18 cert, 109mins
Cast: Miraj Grbic, Natasa Petrovic, Stellan Skarsgård