In the singular, the Balkan is the mountain range that rises in Serbia and flows into the Black Sea, and in the plural it refers to the last great war fought in Europe (1991-2001) with still unhealed wounds, as brandished by “Hive”, the film that will represent Kosovo at the Oscars, screened this Wednesday at the 66th Seminci.
Barely 1.8 million inhabitants over 11,000 square kilometers, half of the province of Badajoz, adds Kosovo, one of the regions of the former Yugoslavia most devastated during the Balkan war, with thousands of people killed or missing whose families are still asking for support in their search. and justice for dignity.
In this context, Kosovar director and screenwriter Blerta Basholli, chosen to represent Kosovo at the Oscars, unilaterally declared herself independent in 2008 and has since fought for its full recognition as a country by the international community.
The Oscar nomination “had a very positive impact as it has been in many festivals and I see it as a reward for our work,” Basholli said at a press conference after the screening, in competition, within the official section. of the Valladolid festival.
“Hive” is based on real facts: it is the story of a Kosovar widow who, while struggling to discover the remains of her husband, convinced of his murder in the war, defies taboos such as the secondary role of women in societies of reminiscence and ancestral past, during the founding of a food cooperative.
The marketing of honey and a very popular sauce in her country, gave birth to a women’s cooperative movement and a company that employs more than fifty women, with exports even to the United States, thanks to courage and to the courage of Fahrije, the real name of the widow they visited to shoot the film.
“It was not another film for me but it was my duty to convey the story and the figure of this strong woman,” added Basholli of a project that saw the light of day after eight years with the collaboration of Yllka Gashi, the actress who plays Fahrije.
As artists, but also as women, “she was an inspiration to us because of her figure, because of her character ….
Scars but in the stones are in a way the petroglyphs, those rock drawings from thousands of years ago that the protagonist of “Compartment Nº 6” searches in the Arctic Ocean, the latest work by Finnish director Juho Kuosmanen , who also participated in this 66th International Film Week of Valladolid (Seminci).
It is an adaptation of a novel by the Finnish writer Rosa Liksom, a long train journey between Moscow and the Russian coast in Murmansk which brings together in one compartment two people of very different status and social background. , condemned to understand each other through reflections. and affective mechanisms sometimes unknown to oneself.
“The experience was also a journey in itself. Most of the scenes were difficult to shoot in such narrow spaces. There were meteorological complications, it was an adventure, but that is cinema,” said declared the director through a video conference.
Kuosmanen spoke of the level of isolation that new technologies have instilled in society, able to shorten distances but also to stratify “the kind of encounters with strangers that the film offers” in a sudden, real and forced by the circumstances .
“The story could not be the same now, it has this evocation, the memory of two decades ago”, abounded the Finnish director on a film shot mainly inside a train .
The third film in competition screened this Wednesday was “I’m your man”, by the German Mari Schrader, a fun but also thoughtful experiment on the limits of artificial intelligence and its relationship to man.
This is the case of Alma, an archaeologist who agrees to live for a company the results of a three-week experience of cohabitation with a robot with a totally human appearance, programmed to please her partner.
By Roberto Jiménez