Review: ‘Going Home’

Emotion-tossed story of dysfunctional Croatian clan living in Stuttgart quickly tips over into sentimentality as helmer Damir Lukacevic pushes each family member through a life-changing crisis. Pic's cliched generational misunderstandings are followed up too easily with bittersweet, crowd-pleasing schmaltz.

Emotion-tossed story of dysfunctional Croatian clan living in Stuttgart quickly tips over into sentimentality as Croatian helmer Damir Lukacevic pushes each family member through a life-changing crisis. Pic’s cliched generational misunderstandings are followed up too easily with bittersweet, crowd-pleasing schmaltz. Ethnic family-in-exile film has been done to far greater effect, though the ravaged, lived-in face of elder son Rade Radovic as a washed-up rock star snags some interest. Pic nonetheless is not likely to leave home turf.

Father and mother have lived in Germany for decades and youngest son was born there. When the parents try to take the family back to Croatia to open a hotel, the myth of the fatherland is met with some unexpected home truths. The youngest son doesn’t want to go, having fallen in love with a German girl next door. The martyred middle brother who died in the war turns out to not only to have been gay but also to have committed suicide. That leaves the hell-raising rocker rebel to play prodigal son and prove that you can go home again. Tech credits are fine.

Going Home

Germany-Croatia

Production

A Gambit film, Fernsehproduktion GmbH production. Produced by Christian Hunemorder, Michael Jungfleisch. Directed by Damir Lukacevic. Screenplay, Lukacevic, Edin Hinrichs-Hadzimahovic.

Crew

Camera (color), David Schultz; editor, Valerie Smith; music, Stevie B-Zet. Reviewed at Montreal World Film Festival (Cinema of Europe), Sept. 7, 2003. German, Croatian dialogue. Running time: 92 MIN.

With

Rade Radovic, Mustafa Nadarevic, Vlasta Knezovic, Carlo Lujbek, Marina Marusic.
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