The High Sun

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Croatia | 2015 | 123 minutes | Dalibor Matani

Three separate romances take place over three decades in a pair of war-torn Balkan villages, with the same actors changing characters for each story, for a moving illustration of the fragility, and enduring strength, of love. 

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Two neighboring Balkan villages, one Croatian and one Serbian, set the stage for three different love stories. The first takes place in 1991, with tensions rising between the two villages as each anticipates the rapidly approaching war. Amid an atmosphere of madness, confusion, and fear, lovers Jelena (Tihana Lazovic) and Ivan (Goran Markovic) are preparing to elope in secret, at least until Jelena's brother Sasha (Dado Cosic) learns of their plans and tries to stop them. The second narrative takes place in 2001, after the war has ended. Its scars are still too fresh for a couple to form an ongoing relationship, though, as revealed when Serbia-based Natasha (Lazovic) meets Croatian handyman Ante (Markovic). The final story is set in 2011, when love might be able to take root if the lovers can finally break free of the past. Luka (Markovic) returns to the village to attend a rave and see Marija (Lazovic), his Serbian ex, again. By having the same two actors appear as the different pairs of lovers in each of the three decades, the film reveals the dangers of repeating history and giving in to a "code of hatred."

Director Biography
Dalibor Matanić was born in Zagreb in 1975 and holds a degree in Film and Television Directing from the Academy of Dramatic Art in Zagreb. One of his most successful works is his short, Tulum/Party, which premiered at Cannes.

Sponsored by Snoqualmie Indian Tribe, The Belroy Apartments, Ellison Center UW

  • Original Language Title: Zvizdan
  • Director: Dalibor Matani
  • Principal Cast: Tihana Lazovic, Goran Markovic, Nives Ivankovic, Dado Cosic, Stipe Radoja
  • Country: Croatia, Slovenia, Serbia
  • Year: 2015
  • Running Time: 123 minutes
  • Producer: Ankica Juric Tilic
  • Screenplay: Dalibor Matanic
  • Cinematographers: Marko Brdar
  • Editors: Tomislav Pavlic
  • Music: Alen Sinkauz, Nenad Sinkauz
  • Website: Official Film Website
  • Awards: Cannes 2015 (Un Certain Regard Jury Prize), Official Oscar Submission 2015 (Foreign Language Film), Pula Film Festival 2015 (Best Film, Director, Actress, Supporting Actress, Supporting Actor, Costume Design), Sarajevo Film Festival 2015 (The Art Cinema Award), Slovenian Film Festival 2015 (Best Feature Film, Cinematography), Cottbus Film Festival 2015 (Best Picture Award), Minsk Internattional Film Festival 2015 (Best Director, Cinematography), Cairo International Film Festival 2015 (Best Artistic Contribution Prize), Geneva International Film Festival and Forum of Human Rights 2016 (Grand Prix), Tetouan Mediterranean Film Festival 2016 (Best Actor)
  • Filmography: Majstori (2013); Daddy (2011); Mother of Asphalt (2010); The Lika Cinema (2008); 100 Minutes of Glory (2004); I Love You (2005); Fine Dead Girls (2002); Cashier Wants to Go to the Seaside (2000)
  • Language: Croatian
  • Format: DCP
  • International Sales: Cercamon