Thursday, November 25, 2004

Brešan (Bresan) Goes To Hollywood

Svjedoci a.k.a. Witnesses is the most controversial film to be made in Croatia since independence. The main reason for the controversy is its subject, which was until not too long ago a complete taboo for any Croatian filmmaker –Croatian Army atrocities against ethnic Serb civilians during 1991-95 war. Its director Vinko Brešan (Vinko Bresan) has already crossed some lines in 1990s with his war and politically themed comedies, but this bleak drama, despite toning down the violence and brutality of real life events that had served as an inspiration, brought heavy criticism from right-wing sections of Croatian society. Critics at home and abroad had different opinions and the film received some festival prizes.

However, Večernji list (Vecernji list) reports about Brešan being in Hollywood where he not only negotiated about distribution rights, but also about the grandest prize of all – a Hollywood remake. If this deal goes through and a new, Hollywood version is indeed made, it would be the greatest day in the history of Croatian cinema – and despite the great likelihood of a remake being visibly inferior to the original.


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