Sevdah for Karim

An uneasy mix of rough sex, politics and Islamic philosophy.

With:
With: Amar Selimovic, Marija Karan, Adnan Haskovic, Mirvad Kuric, Asli Bayram, Ivana Petrovic, Semir Krivic, Edhem Husic, Haris Burina, Sadzida Setic.

An uneasy mix of rough sex, politics and Islamic philosophy, Bosnian helmer Jasmin Durakovic’s “Sevdah for Karim” looks at a generation still dealing with the residue of war in the autumn of 2001. Durakovic and co-scripter Asmir Kujovic touch on some important topics, but fail to do justice to any of them in this over-plotted melodrama, about a man who works to defuse land mines in the Sarajevo hills and struggles to reconcile his spiritual values with unsavory deeds. Moody, despairing pic might earn further Euro fest berths on the mere strength of its post-9/11 America-bashing.

During the war, Karim (Amar Selimovic) lost his parents — and part of a leg — in a minefield. Although he lives with his religiously observant sister (Asli Bayram), he frequently lives it up with criminally inclined pal Juka (Adnan Haskovic, intense), who plays erotic games with seductive girlfriend Ivana (Marija Karan). When Juka gets tossed in the slammer, Karim seizes the opportunity to pursue Ivana, something Juka makes them both regret. The restlessly changing visual style and music score feel as schizophrenic and unresolved as the protagonist.

Sevdah for Karim

Bosnia-Herzogovina-Hungary

Production: A Depo, Tivoli production. Produced by Angelina Albjanic-Durakovic, Denes Sekeres. Directed by Jasmin Durakovic. Screenplay, Durakovic, Asmir Kujovic.

Crew: Camera (color), Sahin Sisic; editor, Midhat Mujkic; music, Dubioza collective; production designer, Maja Ceric; costume designer, Belma Zisko. Reviewed at Sarajevo Film Festival (competing), July 24, 2010. Running time: 95 MIN.

With: With: Amar Selimovic, Marija Karan, Adnan Haskovic, Mirvad Kuric, Asli Bayram, Ivana Petrovic, Semir Krivic, Edhem Husic, Haris Burina, Sadzida Setic.

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