By Mónica Delgado

In his documentary Depth Two, Serbian filmmaker Ognjen Glavonic exposed the horror of the Kosovo war, lived at the end of the nineties. The documentary arises from an investigation he was making precisely for the argument of The Load, his first feature film. In that documentary, premiered at Berlinale, Glavonic showed through testimonies in voice over, the finding of a refrigerated truck with 55 corpses of Albanian civilians, killed by the Serbian army and tossed in a big mass grave. This indignation finds his fictional part in The Load, projected in Quinzaine de réalisateurs.

The driver gets his thirteenth mission, to take a refrigerated truck without knowing what it obtains. The trip, which crosses military barriers, becomes a stark road movie, nebulous and wintry, of frustrations, closed highways, attacked towns and different characters coming along for the trip. In this way, Glavonic portrays the trip of an innocent man, who will tie ends and realize that his mission isn’t what he expected. But the interesting thing on the point of view of the filmmaker is that the content of this load (referred in the title) is never explicit, and rather the occult cruelty, out of field of the discovery becomes nausea and the possibility to bring to light this horror (something that happens in Depth Two)

In his first work, Zivan makes a punk festival, (Serbia, 2014) Glavonic already posed a following to his characters during different journeys that describe themselves in relation to their environment. In this documentary we follow an adolescent who organizes punk concerts in rural towns, amidst a climate of improvisation but also of liberty in post-war times. And this necessity to show also the generational aspect of the time appears in this film, with the character of the boy that has a punk band who is picked up by the truck’s driver. This friendship, emerged from chance, is showed in relation to the son who’s waiting for him at home, but also with this hidden secret, that compromises them.

The Load is a great first feature, which shows Glavonic as a filmmaker that knew how to explore the different sides of war, through films that turns to suggestion, constructing a distinct community sense, a product of the crisis and political lies.

Quinzaine de réalisateurs
Director, script: Ognjen Glavonic
Camera: Tatjana Krstevski
Editing: Jelena Maksimovic
Cast: Leon Lucev, Pavle cemerikic, Tamara Krcunovic, Ivan Lucev, Igor Bencina, Radoje cupic, Jovo Maksic, Stefan Trifunovic, Tanja Pjevac, Ljubiša Milicic, Branko Perišic, Novak Bilbija
Serbia, Croatia, 2018