This biblically charged tale of an impoverished Bosnian family whose lack of health insurance imperils the wife’s third pregnancy takes eastern European neorealism to its limits. Poor yet indomitable scrap metal gatherer Nazif and his wife play themselves, touring a bleak landscape of fragile hopes for an accommodating hospital/inn. If you can ignore awkward dialogue – or relish it, as the Berlinale jury did – you’ll find Tanovic’s equation of narrative and form masterful. If not, take cover.
An Episode in the Life of an Iron Picker | Directed by Danis Tanovic (France, Bosnia, Slovenia 2013) with Nazif Mujic, Senada Alimanovic. Starts October 10
Originally published in issue #120, October 2013.