Republic of Macedonia | Belgium | France | Croatia | Slovenia 2019
Opening November 14, 2019
Directed by: Teona Strugar Mitevska
Writing credits:Teona Strugar Mitevska, Elma Tataragic
Principal actors: Zorica Nusheva, Labina Mitevska, Suad Begovski
This is the fifth feature film from Macedonian writer-director Teona Strugar Mitevska, a satire supposedly based on a true story. Every year on the Epiphany the local Orthodox priest (Suad Begovski) throws a sacred crucifix into the river and the man who retrieves it is promised prosperity and good fortune for an entire year. Thirty-two year old, left-on-the-shelf Petrunya (Zorica Nusheva), a woman with nothing to lose, defies local tradition and on a whim jumps into the river and retrieves the crucifix herself. That’s a giant no-no in the town of Stip in Macedonia, a provincial town where patriarchal society still reigns supreme. The more the locals and even her own tyrannical mother demand that she return the cross, the more stoic and unwavering is she to keep it.
Egging her on is the dogged female television reporter Slavica (Labina Mitevska) who has found her cause célèbre in Petrunya. The decision to cover the story of Petrunya’s incarceration is fueled by her own ruthless ambition to become a media star herself. Slavica is eager to carve out a journalistic career by reporting on the valiant woman Petrunya’s fight against sex discrimination intertwined with medieval Orthodox practices. Petrunya herself seems less focused on the cause as her attention has shifted from the crucifix to the handsome police officer Darko ….. (Macedonian with German subtitles) (Pat F.)