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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

Sponsored by MUBI

The Northwest Film Center recognizes and honors the Indigenous peoples of this region on whose ancestral lands the museum now stands. These include the Willamette Tumwater, Clackamas, Kathlemet, Molalla, Multnomah and Watlala Chinook Peoples and the Tualatin Kalapuya who today are part of the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde, and many other Native communities who made their homes along the Columbia River. We also want to recognize that Portland today is a community of many diverse Native peoples who continue to live and work here. We respectfully acknowledge and honor all Indigenous communities—past, present, future—and are grateful for their ongoing and vibrant presence.