We had the honor to be invited to Croatian premiere of Houston, We Have a Problem!
To be honest, it was a long awaited movie, especially after watching a trailer couple of years ago – concept sounded pretty innovative because it was region–oriented and contained space elements, two things that sound incompatible to anyone who knows anything about former Yugoslavia.
So, if you haven’t by any chance watched the trailer, here it is:–
The story is about former Yugoslavian space program that president Tito sold to Americans (in the early 60’s), so they could keep up with the space race against Russians. The actual course of events is accompanied by elements of fiction, but you can’t really tell the difference, the story just sucks you in, and it’s so crazy and unbelievable that you choose to believe in it completely.
We watched couple of similar movies that basically do the same thing – they tell you a story with some facts and believable testimonies (The Man from Earth comes in mind), you can’t prove or dismiss them, but at the end you’re inevitably left with a question mark above your head, but free to choose what you will believe in.
We liked how they incorporated Slavoj Žižek (famous Slovenian psychoanalytic philosopher and cultural critic) into the movie, at the end he tells something like this: „Even if it didn’t happened, it’s true“. In that simple sentence, he basically described the whole point. He also shared some intriguing thoughts about reality and fiction and how they’re perceived in the world today.
The whole movie is filmed like a documentary, with lots of archival footage that follows the story perfectly (we’re still wondering how did they pull out the one with Tito in the bathing suit), and ingeniously filled gaps with a story so crazy it could have happened just the way they have portrayed. It also has bunch of satirical and funny layers and references, with some of them you can identify with, but some of them are, in some way, reserved for the people from this region.
Balkan is a place of many contradictions and movie shows it with a certain sympathy.
Storytelling is very good, the past and the present are mixed up and are explaining themselves simultaneously – and because some of the characters are still alive (at least according to the movie), it seems like Yugoslavia was just around the corner, and not some long distant memory.
The movie already had its world premiere, it was included in the official selection of the 15th edition of the Tribeca Film Festival in New York. It started big and we wish him to grow bigger!
Thanks Boštjan for the kind invitation and posing with the old crew!