Review: ‘Sorry for Kung Fu’

Aprecise, low-key satire about Balkan prejudice in the wake of the war in Yugoslavia, "Sorry for Kung Fu" is a nicely calibrated wisp of a movie that will fit perfectly in global-thinking fests but feels more muscular as tube fare than an arthouse attraction.

Aprecise, low-key satire about Balkan prejudice in the wake of the war in Yugoslavia, “Sorry for Kung Fu” is a nicely calibrated wisp of a movie that will fit perfectly in global-thinking fests but feels more muscular as tube fare than an arthouse attraction.

After an unspecified time spent in Germany waiting out the conflict, pregnant Croat refugee Mirjana (Daria Lorenci) returns to xenophobic parents Kate and Jozo (Vera Zima, Filip Rados). Their war-ravaged village on a wind-swept plain is not conducive to progressive thought; in fact, the most modern thing around seems to be the “Smoke on the Water” riffs floating from the cheap eastern Europe-made guitar wielded by sibling Marko (Luka Petrusic). Efforts of Mom and Dad to hook Mirjana up with a local come to a screeching halt when the newborn exhibits distinctly Asian features. Balance of pic explores family’s efforts to process this new development. Uncluttered and purposeful, Split-born helmer Ognjen Svilicic’s second feature makes its points with a dry, unforced wit; the unseen war, he wrote in press notes, was sparked “by far smaller ethnic differences.” Tech credits are fine.

Sorry for Kung Fu

Croatia

Production

A Lifesize Entertainment release (in U.S.) of an HRT/Croatian Television production. (International sales: Lifesize Entertainment, Parsippany, N.J.) Produced by Vesna Mort. Directed, written by Ognjen Svilicic.

Crew

Camera (Super 16mm-to-35mm), Vedran Samanovic; editor, Vjeran Pavlinic; music, Ognjen Svilicic, Maro Market; art director, Mladen Ozbolt. Reviewed at Berlin Film Festival (Forum), Feb. 14, 2005. Running time: 73 MIN.

With

Daria Lorenci, Filip Rados, Vera Zima, Vedran Mlikota, Luka Petrusic.
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