‘Borders, Raindrops’ is a story of beauty, humour and hope in an unlikely place. It is an entertaining and innovative film about love and longing, as well as a plea for reconciliation in the post-Yugoslav landscape.
The story unfolds in a recently fragmented space and this is mirrored in the narrative structure of the film, which is split in two halves. The young woman, Jagoda, creates a connection between two families divided by the border and, through her character, both stories merge into an organic whole. In fact, the entire film is constructed around this idea. So, a number of visual motifs from the first half re-emerge in the second, and several sequences from the Montenegrin part ‘rhyme’ with the Bosnian sequel. The theme of the sea, as a source of both life and conflict, is repeated throughout the film.
The atmosphere is key to this film. Although the plot is entirely feasible, the acting naturalistic, and the locations real, a delicate sense of heightened reality pervades the film. Four different elements of our cinematic language conspire to create this feeling.
Firstly, the painterly visual style reflects the unique setting of the mountains overlooking the Adriatic Sea, invoking the work of the modernist painter Petar Lubarda, who explored the unique natural light of this region. The film will be shot in outdoor locations during the summer. In contrast, the rare interior scenes will be lit in the minimal, chiaroscuro style, reminiscent of classical painting.
Secondly, the film draws on a meditative understanding of timing, with carefully arranged shots, where the focus is on duration and time flow. So, even if our characters take a nap during the hot afternoon, the crickets, and the camera, do not.
Thirdly, the carefully orchestrated soundtrack, from the soapy pop tunes in the first half of the film to the unsettling reverberations in the second, transcends its mimetic function, and adds another layer of meaning to the images.
And finally, the sense of hope and the ‘happy ending’ for all the main characters may add to the feeling of heightened reality. Nevertheless, this is a response to the driving force behind this project – the construction of an affirmative, perhaps even romantic, representation of the place sidelined by recent history, and almost forgotten in economic, political and cultural terms.
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