The village of Velo Grablje with its five last inhabitants, disappears within fog and waves, in a region at the end of a global Europe. There is also a female voice, standing as the Delphi's oracle. A woman born in Morocco who decided to live on this island of Hvar. If a man exists or not, this is our quest. Maybe the quest for a man to be found, or just a story representing him. War, death, and the heritage of socialism, through the relationship between Ivana, one generation ahead, and his uncle, born Sinai Zaninovic.
A l'Ouest Venise, à l'Est Constantinople. C'est une histoire qui raconte d'un homme qui vit à la périphérie de l'empire, dans l'archipel croate. C'est ça la décision qu'il faut prendre à notre rond-point imaginaire au milieu d'un terrain vague. Le village de Velo Grablje, avec ses 5 habitants, disparaissait dans la brume et dans les vagues, dans une région à la fin d'une Europe globale, mais situé dans son cœur. Il y a aussi une voix féminin, le souffle de l'oracle de Delphe. Une femme qui vient du Maroc et qui a choisi de vivre sur l'ile de Hvar. Est-ce que cet humanité existe vraiment ? C'est ça notre quête. Peut-être la quête d'un homme à trouver, où tout simplement son narration. La guerre, la mort et l'héritage du socialisme à travers la relation entre Ivana - une génération après - et son oncle, né Sinai Zaninovic.
AN INTRODUCTION TO THE FILM
It was to be a film of scientific nature, in which the succession of iconic plans could create a coherent structure,
a film about the living conditions on the Croatian island of Hvar.
Then something changed, uncannily, and the relevance of this new status,
found us ready to receive the change. A spiritual mirage about the existence of a man.
The village of Velo Grablje is inhabited by five individuals.
This allows us to take over, towards a universal feeling.
From here you feel an urge to contrast. The island as a prison, imagined in his terrible November,
wrapped by the rains, imagining his hands still cold plunges us into an extended time,
and nebulous, from which we see a new life, a moral effort of being,
a day by day sublimation of existence. It is said that in the village there are only empty houses or ruins,
and these ruins prevent the landscape from sinking in the uncertainty of nature.
Contemplating this landscape is like attending a trip back in pure time.
We need to find the time to believe in the story.
The geographical confinement results in a sort of circular horizontalisation of mindset and vision.
The island as a prison for them, in other words, our beloved gilded cage.
Being surrounded by the sea and constantly under attack means that we dont ever put the question of the origin of others.
“We, people from the continent, we are just passing through”. But it is not just a matter of quality of life,
but of perspectives that seem to aim elsewhere. Here all movements, in their systematic nature, hold a very strong weight.
And this weight defines life. And that is why we were seeking something related to existence on this island.
Maybe just because here it is more obvious to find.
Like an El dorado for thoughts to become statements, for gestures to assume the power of actions.
It is simply the value of the other, geography as a confirmation of our need of knowledge,
not far from the archipelago where Ulysses moved his own journey.
On the island everything is defined and this becomes a practical taxonomic classification
that has the right to be destroyed and the need to give a new meaning to this ritual, almost ascetic for us,
becoming a sort of duty. Sinai, our quest, was born in Egypt, as a refugee.
We follow him throughout the day in his actions, clinging to his thoughts,
his version of the world full of references to other worlds, perhaps never met but lived with fantasy.
He represents the testimony of a civilization that slowly disappears or slowly reborn,
now that Croatia has entered into Europe as an upcoming voice. Finally the need of the last effort, a narrative effort.
A voice celebrating the sublimation of this wondrous enigma,
the creation of a lost world and the speech of Delphi’s oracle,
“a sort of organization of travellers, in between east and west”.
Directors: Alberto Gemmi, Enrico Masi
Producer: Stefano Migliore
With: Ivana and Sinai Zaninovic
Voice: Leila Amacker
Artistic Direction: Stefano Croci
Produced by: Caucaso Factory in collaboration with University of Bologna, University of Zadar, Ca’ Foscari Venise.
Editor: Diego Berre’
Post production: Giuseppe Petruzzellis
Sound design: Jacopo Bonora
Original score: Zende Music
Translations: Ramona Ruggeri, Sandra Ramic, Kristina Kovac
Languages: Croatian, French
Subtitles: English, Italian
Shooting format: Full HD, 16 mm
Processing lab: Fotocinema, Rome