Five films to check out at 18th edition of ZagrebDOX

86 documentary films from major festivals around the world screen in Zagreb during the 18th edition of ZagrebDOX

In the eight days of the ZagrebDOX festival, the audience will have a chance to watch 86 documentaries in 11 film sections. Twenty films in the international competition and 17 documentaries in the regional competition are competing for the official festival of the Big Stamp, while the Small Stamp award will be given to the best film by an author up to 35 years of age. With a great and exciting festival in front of us, we decided to make our shortlist of titles truly worth checking out!

Here is Duart's top 5 at the 18th edition of ZagrebDOX:


„Bigger than Traumaby Vedrana Pribačić

Greater than Trauma by director Vedrana Pribačić and producer Mirta Puhlovski follows the process of healing the trauma of women victims of the war crime of rape in the Homeland War. In her first feature-length documentary, director Pribačić approaches three women victims of the war with a camera and follows their process of liberation by telling shocking life stories. At the heart of the film are the issues of dealing with PTSD and the feminist act of empowerment and rapprochement, where victims show the complexity of becoming aware of the traumatic act and the difficult emotional and verbal process in which they become greater than trauma.

Festival screenings here.


„Reconciliation by Marija Zidar

The first feature-length film by Marija Zidar, Reconciliation, deals with a blood feud in the highlands of Northern Albania. The film follows events after a fierce family quarrel in the Albanian hills that ended up in a murder of an eighteen-year-old girl. Since the tragic event director, Zidar followed the father for the next five years as he struggled to decide whether to seek revenge against the family that killed his daughter. Reconciliation brings a traumatic and informative narrative regarding a patriarchal Balkan society at the crossings, lost in between the brutal and traumatic past and uncertain and tranquil present.

Festival screenings here.


„Brotherhoodby Francesco Montalner

The young Italian director Francesco Montagner brings a story from the rural areas of Bosnia and Herzegovina about a Shiite Islamist father and his three sons. The film Brotherhood is a unique documentary work based on a very simple premise: What happens when a radical Islamist preacher's father goes to prison to serve a two-year sentence and leaves his sons behind?


Are two years enough for someone to overcome the trauma of the environment in which they grew up? How much can the environment affect an individual who has been exposed to radical ideologies all his life? Whether there is a “right” path or all paths are unique mistakes on which everyone builds themselves, are just some of the questions that are asked throughout this paper. Director Montagner patiently follows the lives of the Jabir, Usama and Useira brothers who are on the verge of self-discovery.

Festival screenings here.


„Mlungu - The White King by David Lušičić

David Lušić's latest documentary Mlungu - The White King tells a story of a Croatian sailor arrested concerning the largest-ever drug bust by South African authorities, where 230 kilos of uncut cocaine were found in a sailor's room on the ship en route from Argentina to Europe. 


After five years in prison, the sailor is back home and director Lušić is following him on a personal journey where he deals with the consequences of his decisions, tries to find a way to live a normal life and neglect the temptation of repeating the same mistakes. In prison, they called him “Mlungu – The White King”, convinced that he is the boss of the mafia and not just a mule. Now he is struggling between settling down and playing the role of “the king” once again. 

Festival screenings here.


„Dida“ by Corina Schwingruber Ilić and Nikola Ilić 

The Serbian-Swiss filmmaking and life partners Nikola Ilić and Corina Schwingruber Ilić world premiered their first feature-length documentary, Dida last year at Vision du Reel. 


Titular Dida is Nikola's mother and as his grandmother is getting older, Belgrade is now calling Nikola back home. He can’t let his mother down, but he doesn’t want to give up his life in Switzerland. This forces him to face a moral dilemma: How can he help his mother live a life of independence without losing his own. Marriage couple Ilić bring a somewhat harsh, somewhat comedic but overall heartwarming story of gaping the bridges between family connections and motherlands.

Festival screenings here.

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