FACING THE DAY
Caligari: 06.04. / 2.30 pm
A documentary which centres on inmates of the prison in Lepoglava, Croatia, and their rehearsals for a production of Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”. The prisoners’ free adaptation of the play thematizes prison life and their interpersonal relationships. As they present “their” jail, they tell us why they are there. The proud and bullish Tulio, for instance, is serving time for armed robbery. He is cast as Pyramus, a role he accepted only after being told that Pyramus was the most powerful and sought-after man in Athens. It is Tulio’s second stay in Lepoglava: Robbery, he says, is the only way to get by in Croatia, but isn’t as good as it used to be – like many other things in that republic. His fellow inmates Maki and Zane are convicted murderers. Deciding his life had reached a dead end, Maki gave himself up to the police. He is religious, and sits alone at the prison church services. Zane spends his time painting, unable to face the question of how, if he ever met a woman who might love him, he would explain what he did. For him, the applause from the first-night audience is a singular recognition of his personality. All of the men we see are in a low-security unit: If they chose, they could simply walk out the gate to the neighbouring village. But instead they stay – life outside would hardly be an improvement. Ivona Juka’s film casts an unprejudiced eye on the life of these men, who are wedged between several worlds at the same time.