PRAGUE — Macedonia has selected as its Oscar foreign-lingo entry Vladimir Blazevski’s “Punk’s Not Dead,” a scrappy road movie that evokes the same fiercely independent spirit that typifies this small Balkan country.
The pic focuses on hero Mirsa, an former singer from the band that once ruled the Macedonian punk scene. Now 40 and still living with his mother, he gets by selling drugs for a fearsome Albanian.
The dealer then hatches a “Blues Brothers”-style mission to reunite the band for a benefit concert in a town with a repressed Albanian majority.
Karovy Vary fest, where the pic won the East of the West section for films from the former East bloc, praised Blazevski’s script and pic’s documentary style, saying it achieves “a sense of absolute conviction.” Fest jury also noted pic’s “contagious energy.”
It later won honors at Pristina’s fest. London’s Raindance fest has also programmed the film.