Review: ‘Land of Truth, Love & Freedom’

Purportedly the first wholly independent, nongovernment-subsidized feature from post-breakup Yugoslavia, "Land of Truth, Love & Freedom" has an inherent political interest that regrettably won't translate for offshore auds.

Purportedly the first wholly independent, nongovernment-subsidized feature from post-breakup Yugoslavia, “Land of Truth, Love & Freedom” has an inherent political interest that regrettably won’t translate for offshore auds. Pretentious vid-shot pastiche of found footage, cinephile in-jokes and gangsta posturing is Dusan Makavejev meets Tarantino in the glibbest sense: Its structurally tricky subversions are largely held hostage to Western pop notions of machismo cool that undermine any serious intent. Potential avant-Eurotube slots aside, this is strictly fringe fest fare.

Frame has film editor Boris (local screen/rock icon Boris Milivojevic) unraveling in a subterranean Belgrade psychiatric hospital as bombs rain overhead. He spins possibly fictive tales of a hit man alter-ego ordered to kill his mob-indebted friend. As perverse recompense, gunman anonymously hires a prostitute for the soon-to-be-dead pal, then is horrified to discover said working girl is own devoted g.f. The hooker/tough-guy gender dynamics play like a blowhard genre fantasy sans sufficient ironic distance. Outer story’s Kafka-esque air of insanity and Stalinist-hangover paranoia is likewise too derivative to carry much real charge. Eye-blink clips (ranging from Tarkovsky’s “Stalker” to Hitchcock, Conan pics and vintage Yugo-kitsch) further quasi-experimental pic’s bratty self-consciousness.

Land of Truth, Love & Freedom

Yugoslavia

Production

A Sean Aloysius O'Fearna & Sons production in association with Soul Flower. Produced by Milutin Petrovic. Executive producers, Petrovic, Predrag Bambic. Directed by Milutin Petrovic. Screenplay, Petrovic, Sasa Radojevic, Petar Jakonic.

Crew

Camera (color, video-to-35mm), Andreja Leko, Predrag Bambic; editors, Jakonic, Petrovic; music, Misa Savic, Petrovic; production designer, Ninoslav Bambulovic. Reviewed at Montreal Film Festival (Cinema of Tomorrow), Aug. 31, 2001. Running time: 77 MIN.

With

Boris Milivojevic, Dorde Andelic, Vanja Govorko, Biljana Srbljanovic, Rade Markovic, Mirela Pavlovic, Milorad Milinkovic, Slobodan-Boda Ninkovic, Dalibor Andonov-Gru, Alja Nikitovic, Nikola Duricko.
Want to read more articles like this one? SUBSCRIBE TO VARIETY TODAY.
Post A Comment 0

Leave a Reply

No Comments

Comments are moderated. They may be edited for clarity and reprinting in whole or in part in Variety publications.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

More Film News from Variety

Loading