Rekvijem za Gospođu J.

Serbia, Bulgaria, FYR Macedonia, Russia, France 2017

Synopsis

Mrs J., a former administrative clerk, decides to complete all her tasks: she washes a sink full of dishes, goes to the store, and digs up an old family pistol. It is her late husband’s pistol. She is determined to kill herself with the gun on the anniversary of her husband’s death in a week’s time.
Mrs J. decides to go to a stonemason and hire him to place her picture on the tombstone, next to her husband’s. Afterwards, she goes to church for confession before Easter and returns a borrowed chair to her neighbor on the first floor. Mrs J. decides to make peace with her pregnant older daughter Ana. For the first time, she visits Ana at the hypermarket. She confronts Ana’s boyfriend to tell him what it means to be a man in the house.
Mrs J. decides to collect her severance pay from the bankrupt factory where she spent half her life working. She collects her life insurance, and corrects a typo in her name on her birth certificate.
She is prepared to finish all private and administrative details so that she may commit suicide her way. In order to begin the process, she needs just one thing: a certificate about her employment over the past 20 years. In a country that is going through social transition, this will be highly complicated. Because living in transition is complicated. To die is even more complicated.

Directors Statement

The idea for the story of REQUIEM FOR Mrs. J originates from the intimate acquaintance with a woman who, it seems, embodies a typical victim of the transition process in Serbia. She is a modest, quiet woman, who avoids interacting with people.
Mrs J. Is feeling hopeless without a job or redundancy pay, without a husband and has no desire to leave her apartment. She is perplexed by the strange occurrence at the parking lot in front of her apartment building. Feeling unwanted and rejected by her family, Mrs. J finds parts of an old family gun and decides to assemble it.
The film deals with one of the painful and unavoidable issues in Eastern Europe – social transition and economic crisis. The new political and economic system is altering the old face of socialism, bringing big changes in the value system, which inevitably leads, as in this case, to total identity crisis.
REQUIEM FOR MRS. J is a dark comedy about the transition which eats its own children,. People have always worked hard and yet failed to cope with the age of transition, where corruption, bureaucracy and double moral standards rule. After 20 years in an economically and morally devastated post-war Serbia, these people have no hope left. They have lost the will to adjust, only to be lest confused and drained. The only transition they perceive as salvation is the one to the “other world”.
However, in Serbia bureaucracy and corruption make not only life difficult, but also death. as well, Given this, transition to the other world is slow and unknown; just like searching for a lost document lost at the administration system counter. This topic is universal, as well as the destiny of Mrs. J, which can easily be experienced in other countries affected by the global economic crisis.
This gives the film a much broader dimension.
This is a satirical black comedy on the subject of the difficult social and psychological state of the people in Serbia today. Their lives are often tragi-comic and absurd. While living in a time of social transition and economic crisis is complicated dying is even more complicated.

Biography

Born in Belgrade in 1977. MA in film and TV directing from the Faculty of Dramatic Arts in Belgrade. As a co-writer, he has collaborated with Stefan Arsenijević on the omnibus „Lost and Found“ (Serbian story) and feature „Love and Other Crimes“, premiered at 58th Berlinale in selection Panorama Special, for which he was two times granted a best script award at the national festivals.
His first feature film “Practical Guide to Belgrade with Singing and Crying” premiered at Karlovy Vary Film Festival in East of the West competition. It won several national and international awards such as: FEDEORA Critic Award at Pula Film Festival, FIPRESCI Award at Cinema City Film Festival, and Special jury prize in Jeonju, South Korea FF.
His second feature “Requiem for Mrs. J.” had its world premiere at 67th Berlinale in selection Panorama Special.

Filmography:

2017 REQUIEM FOR MRS. J (director and writer)
2011 PRACTICAL GUIDE TO BELGRADE WITH SINGING AND CRYING (director and writer)
2008 LOVE AND OTHER CRIMES (co-writer)
2006 MY HEART AND I (director and writer)
2005 LOST AND FOUND (idea for Serbian story)
2004 TAPESTRY IN SERBO-CROATIAN (director)
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Cast & Crew

Directed by : Bojan Vuletic

Written by : Bojan Vuletic

Produced by : Nenad Dukić

Director of Photography : Jelena Stankovic

Editor : Vladimir Pavlovski

Production Design : Zorana Petrov

Costume Design : Lana Pavlovic

Hair & Make up Artist : Jasmina Lilic

Sound Design : Boris Trayanov

Main Cast : Mirjana Karanović (Mrs. J), Jovana Gavrilovic (Ana), Danica Nedeljkovic (Koviljka), Vucic Perovic (Milanče)

Nominations and Awards

  • EFA Feature Film Selection 2017