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Directed by Ognjen Glavonic

Serbia, France, Croatia, Iran, Qatar 2018 98 mins. In Serbian with subtitles

Opening on a gray landscape in Bosnia are distant explosions from NATO airstrikes, setting the scene for this quietly piercing road movie based on true events during the Balkan Wars of the 1990s. Vlada (Leon Lučev) agrees to transport cargo again from Kosovo to Belgrade, of what perhaps he does not want to admit or truly doesn’t know. Along the way he reluctantly picks up teen hitchhiker Paja (Pavle Čemerikić) and makes regular stops to phone his wife—narrative pauses that open space for others’ stories. Director Ognjen Glavonic, who was a teen during the war, explains that “the shape of the film is a tree, and these story branches are equally important.” While “the load” refers of course to the mysterious cargo, it equally refers to the weight of realizing one’s own complicity and the fear of burden for the next generation.

Filmography: First feature

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