Falling firmly within the tradition of shaggy, gently absurdist Eastern Euro comedy, Predrag Velinovic’s “Motel Nana” ekes considerable charm from its stock fish-out-of-water premise. Tale of an urbanite forced to move to a backwater burg should travel well on the fest circuit and appeal to select offshore broadcasters.
When he impulsively slaps an obnoxious student, Belgrade history prof Ivan (a wry Dragan Micanovic) is not only fired but ignites a national debate on corporal punishment. He reluctantly accepts a post in a remote Serbian town, en route meeting pretty but hardboiled Jasmina (Nikolina Dordevic), who’s returning home after unhappy years as a guest worker in the West. Most natives either fled their tiny hamlet during the war or left for greener pastures. While Ivan instructs the lone classroom of variably aged children, Jasmina discovers she’s been lured here under false pretenses: All relatives have died or moved away, and the “job” Hazim (Zijah Sokolovic) offers isn’t work at his refurbished resort, but as his mistress. When she nixes that, Hazim grows jealous of the evident chemistry between her and Ivan. Attractively packaged pic offers plenty of warmth and low-key humor.