A dour, literally dark drama about a returning soldier shunned by his community, "Homecoming" may reveal somber truths about the emotional damage of war, but even at 68 minutes it's a tough sit. Pic will play well at fests highlighting human rights issues, but the most likely commercial fate would appear to be tube play.

A dour, literally dark drama about a returning soldier shunned by his community, “Homecoming” may reveal somber truths about the emotional damage of war, but even at 68 minutes it’s a tough sit. Pic will play well at fests highlighting human rights issues, but the most likely commercial fate would appear to be tube play.

After five years away, disturbed young Marko (Ivan Dordevic) returns to his rural village to find his mother relocated and the girlfriend from his school days now a woman of easy virtue. Marko is traumatized from both a war and a stay in a mental institution, and writer-director Jovan Arsenic exhibits a fresh eye in visualizing the vertiginous worldview of the profoundly agitated. Nothing really pans out for Marko, and while pic’s bleakness may reflect a very real condition, in the end it serves as nothing more than a calling card for helmer’s nascent talent. Tech credits are appropriately raw, with dark palette befitting pic’s mood. Among Arsenic’s three advisers at the Academy of Media Arts in Cologne, where this served as his graduation project, was vet German helmer and film prof Jeanine Meerapfel.

Homecoming

Germany-Serbia-Montenegro

Production

An Academy of Media Arts Cologne production. (International sales: Academy of Media Arts Cologne, Cologne.) Produced, directed, written by Jovan Arsenic.

Crew

Camera (color, DVCam), Karsten Schleitzer; editors, Arsenic, Rita Schwarze; music, Lajko Felix; art director, Silvija Gladic. Reviewed at Karlovy Vary Film Festival (East of the West), July 10, 2004. Running time: 68 MIN.

With

Ivan Dordevic, Snezana Trisic, Sasa Curcin.
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