MEN DON'T CRY, debut feature film by Alen Drljević, who directed several successful documentaries and short films, was screened as part of Sarajevo Film Festival’s Competition Program – Feature Film, after winning two awards at Karlovy Vary Film Festival: Special Jury Prize and Europa Cinemas Label Award. Explaining the Europa Cinemas Label Award, the jury said:

“The jury was struck by the film's non-judgemental stance on the characters' different perspectives, brought to vivid life by its fine cast, the universality of its theme of the value of forgiveness not just of others, but of ourselves, for past actions, its relevance to Europe's future as a community, and its subtle commentary on the negative aspects of masculinity,” says the jury.” 

And really, the cast composed of Boris Isaković, Leon Lučev, Emir Hadžihafizbegović, Sebastian Cavazza, Ermin Bravo, Boris Ler, Ivo Gregurević, Primož Petkovšek, Jasna Đuričić and Izudin Bajrović, managed to create a closed world filled with trauma seemingly effortlessly. A therapeutic session this way becomes a symbol for whole former Yugoslavia. Starting with Leon Lučev who obviously based his Valentin, a tempered bomb with fascinating self-control who manages to quickly charm both the other characters and the audience, on his own war experience, coming to Isaković’s Miki who carries his guilt under the sea of silence and Ermin Bravo whose emotional and child-like Ahmed manages to make the audience laugh and help the others despite of his own tragedy and all the way to Boris Ler whose dark Jasmin represents the whole generation that has to forgive the ones closes to them for their misfortune, the whole crew, every minute of the film, shows why the whole ensemble got the award for best actor at Mediterranean Film Festival.

Alen Drljević worked on documentaries for years and he is used to doing the research. When you combine that with the fact that he is a war veteran himself, it is easy to understand his deep understanding of theme and characters he decided to show to the audience alike.

MEN DON’T CRY is a film of today. War is over, but it never ended. Even Sebastian, played by Cavazza, who managed to keep him on the outside not falling into the dynamics of the rest of the cast, is not able to “deal with the previous life”. Nobody is spared from war that still lives inside of us and Drljević doesn’t let us think, even for a second, that somebody stayed unharmed by all that happened. How we’re going to deal with our demons and manage to continue with our lives is the constant question. As most of the wise directors before him, Drljević is not offering us the answer, he just shows how we would look like if we followed Artaud’s teachings, turned our skins on the outside and showed everybody what we’re really made of.

Shot in the mesmerizing hillside of Jahorina covered with a light fog by DoP Erlo Zubčević, this film offers restlessness characteristic for people who are going through the days accompanied by their demons and calmness and beauty of the nature that should never be a scene of such violence and evil.

MEN DON’T CRY will be screened tonight as part of BH Film Program at 22:00 at Multiplex Cinema City and if you don’t manage to see it tonight, don’t miss it in the cinemas this autumn.