Having fled from former Yugoslavia, the lives of three powerful women cross in Switzerland, where they learn to re-evaluate themselves. Devoid of any easy nostalgia, the film touches on the pain that is inevitably linked to an involuntary break with your own past.
The film portrays the lives of three women who fled from former Yugoslavia and are trying to build new lives in modern Switzerland. After a disappointing love, Ruza has built a wall around herself and runs her canteen, which she clings to for security, with a good business instinct. The older Mila never stops dreaming and still wants to return to her homeland with her passive husband. Facing these two adult women is the young Ana, who fled her homeland more because of her illness and wants to appropriate the life in Switzerland that she so yearns for.
The past of the three women in Yugoslavia is not detailed, but forms a charged backdrop to their current choices. The women’s lives cross and influence each other, but not always wholeheartedly. Their mutual encounters mean each has to review her own reality.
Is about uprooting, loneliness and desires. Staka’s modest film debut builds on the strong acting performances of the three actresses (from Serbia, Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina) but also on Staka’s subtle scenario that avoids false sentimentality and melodrama and leads to both powerful and suggestive dialogues and scenes. –IFFR
Andrea Štaka (born 1973) graduated from the MFA film program at the School of Visual Arts in Zurich. Her films HOTEL BELGRAD and YUGODIVAS have brought her great recognition at film festivals such as Locarno and Sundance and have won several awards. Both films were nominated for Best Film at the Swiss Film Awards and theatrically released in Switzerland. In 2005 Andrea Štaka received a NYSCA Individual Artist Grant (New York State Council on the Arts) and spent 7 years in New York. FRAULEIN is her first feature film. It won the Golden Leopard at the Locarno Film Festival, the Heart of Sarajevo and the Swiss Film Award for Best Script. In 2007 Andrea Štaka founded Okofilm Productions together with director and producer Thomas Imbach. Andrea lives in Zurich.
Dynamite debut by Andrea Staka and worthy winner of the 2006 Golden Leopard at Locarno. Three womens lives intersect in Switzerland, a land long home for two of the transplanted women and new to the youngest. Though the film doesn't getting bogged down in the why it certainly gives one a lot to reflect on. Top notch performances by the three leads. "... no-one calls it Yugoslavia anymore..."