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AND WE WERE GOOD TO YOU (2021, CRO) Movie review, plot, trailer

After “Metastasis” and “Vegetarian Cannibal”, director Branko Schmidt and actor Rene Bitorajac joined forces again, and the result is another current and layered drama that finely dissects and even caricatures Croatian society. Still, “And We Were Good to You” aka “A bili smo vam dobri” is a weaker film than the two previously mentioned, but still Schmidt with Ognjen Sviličić and Sandra Antolić won the Golden Arena for best screenplay, while Bitorajac was once again awarded for best Croatian actor. Anyway, Schmidt made another film that perfectly mimics reality and a lot of what we see here is really reminiscent of what was happening in reality. Veterans’ protests and a tent in front of the Ministry building in 2014 were undoubtedly the inspiration for this story, which Bitorajac is again carrying with a great performance.

He is Dinko Cosic, a war veteran and a hero who once disabled 23 JNA tanks, and today is a man in his fifties whose family fell apart. The woman left him and took her son away, to suspect that he had problems with alcohol, he was on medication, he was sudden. He is frustrated and furious, outraged at the state, and in the introductory scene we see him coming to an old paromlin that his fellow defenders envisioned turning into the Museum of Homeland Gratitude. However, after the earthquake in Zagreb, the statics of the old building that served as a training ground for them thirty years ago have now been disrupted and the ministry wants to evict them. Veterans do not want to hear about it, they come to the paromlin from all over Croatia, and Dinko reluctantly comes there.

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He has had enough of everything and is letting his friends and colleagues know that he will not give in this time and that he does not want to have anything to do with the protest. Of course, Dinko will change his mind and not only be actively involved in the action, but will soon become one of the fiercest critics of the government. Intervention will take place soon, the defenders will arm themselves with gas bottles, and it is clear that Dinko and his team will eventually be tricked for who knows how many times. However, along with the defenders, some young extremists, neo-Nazis, will start to gather in the paromlin, for whom the museum is not a priority, but they have some plans of their own, and Dinko will fully understand that this is no longer his struggle.

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“And we were good to you” (a sentence that Dinko will, of course, use during the negotiations with the minister) proved to be quite correct in which Bitorajac once again confirmed that such roles suit him best and a film that somewhat accurately depicts the social climate, but however, this is not at the level of previous films. An additional plus is the song “Dead are Dead” by Damir Avdić, which is actually the only musical number that runs through the entire film and fits perfectly into that gloomy environment.


A bili smo vam dobri – trailer