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Janko Popovic Volaric
This touching Serbian film deftly portrays the tragedy and confusion of the post-war Balkans, and does so with unfailing lightness and humor.
Belgrade, in the late 90's, became the refuge of a cascade of displaced persons, like handsome young Labud (swan) and Romana. They have enlisted the services of a match-maker to help them find companions.
The story is an old one how the young couple find, lose, and ultimately keep one another so the charm and interest of the film comes principally from the surrounding details. Labud, alone and living in a shelter, fantasizes about people from his past and has imaginary conversations with them. Among those who populate and direct his thoughts are his former fiancée (she emigrated to Chicago when war broke out), his mother, 'professor', various ancestors. Romana has her past with her, too, including her father, sister, and first love. It is a very busy film, therefore, especially when you consider all the eccentrics that also haunt the dating service.
There is much sentiment, but never a moment of sentimentality especially surprising when one considers the loss that pervades the aftermath of armed conflict. The director makes a point of contrasting the varied pasts of his characters with the ethnic 'purity' which motivated the senseless war. He has concocted an uplifting, understated little gem with most engaging young stars.
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