Thursday, September 11, 2008

Tears For Sale

Uroš Stojanović | 2008 | 86 mins | Serbia

It's hard to describe Tears for Sale, and I'm afraid that my status as a born & bred Serb doesn't really help much. Essentially a fairy tale set in post WWI rural Serbia, it tells the tale of a village of women whose husbands and sons have all been killed after years of war. The idyllic little mountain village is full of frustrated women who've gone so long without a man's touch that most of them have no idea what it even feels like anymore.

When sisters Boginja and Ognjenka are accused of killing the village's last man, they must leave the safety of their homes to find a replacement in just three days, or be cursed forever. The two venture out in good faith, but as soon as they catch a glimpse of the outside world and all the men in it, personal desires and jealousies take them off the righteous path.

The weird, disjointed fantasy/fable plot is really secondary to the lush, sumptuous visuals, gorgeous Serbian babes and heart-stopping score composed by longtime Wong Kar-wai collaborator Shigeru Umebayashi. There's a bit of political commentary here (not only about the WWI era, during which the country did lose more than two thirds of its male population, but also about more recent skirmishes), but I think we can safely just refer to this one as a "feast for the senses" and leave it at that.


aaron said...

this was a terrific movie. very interesting to see a playful, magical fable with a very real back story of frequent violent conflicts overwhelming a small nation. it owes a huge debt to maddin's Careful and Archangel, but does amazing things with those jump off points. and hell, its worth seeing just for a bevy of gorgeous serbian women.

katarina said...

Yeah, the director mentioned being a huge Maddin fan and stealing a lot from Careful, but I agree that he does some awesome stuff with it.