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BLUE FLOWER (2021, CRO) – 7/10

For this minimalistic and intimate drama, Zrinko Ogresta won the Golden Arena for best film and best director in Pula, while Vanja Ćirić, who is more often a theater actress than a film actress, was awarded for best actress. Ćirić is Mirjana, a middle-aged employee in a thread factory in Zagreb who is about to receive a commemorative award for the 20th anniversary of work in the company. Her life seems to have turned into some kind of routine, and she will be shattered not only by the fact that the director Jakov (Alen Liverić), who is suspected to be in a secret relationship with her, is preparing a party for her, but also because two people appear in Zagreb. One of them is her ex-husband Vlado (Nikša Butijer), who a few years earlier left her and her daughter Veronika (Tea Harčević) for a younger woman and now seems to regret it, and the other is Mirjana’s mother Violeta (Anja Šovagović – Despot) who arrived from an unnamed provincial town for an examination at the hospital.

And right from the start it is clear to us that the relationship between mother and daughter is extremely complex. Violeta seems like one of those older women who likes to poke her nose everywhere and get involved in everything and anything, and Mirjana doesn’t hide that it bothers her and gets on her nerves. It all seems somehow mysterious and somewhat hermetic, and through Mirjana’s conversations with her relatives and her standard life routine, we also learn certain details from her life. And while Mirjana is annoyed by her mother’s well-intentioned, but unnecessary and often irritating excessive care and constant teaching and giving advice, she doesn’t seem to realize that she behaves almost identically to her teenage daughter. Veronika, on the other hand, dreams of a music career in New York, and mom, who clearly once had big dreams herself, seems to be aware that dreams rarely come true and as if she is terrified that her daughter will turn into her, just as she subconsciously thinks that she turned into her mother.

“Blue Flower” was an intimate drama that leaves a lot of space for reflection and that hits the spirit of the times and the spirit of society very well, and the life situation and problems are surely very well known to many. There it seems that no one listens to anyone, no one says anything to anyone, and when they do speak, it seems to bounce off the wall because everyone is overwhelmed by some of their own problems, worries and bitterness because their lives did not develop as they should have. hoped. This arty drama was filmed in a modern, predominantly naturalistic style until the very end, and continues “Blue Flower” and Ogresta’s previous intimate, “small” films in which he explores the innermost in ordinary people and tries to capture real life.