On the Path
(Na Putu) Director: Jasmila Žbanić, BIH-A-D-HR, 2009, Bosnian version / Czech subtitles, 100 min
In Bosnian, na putu means to be on the way somewhere, but it also has a spiritual meaning reflecting the quest for one’s inner self, or for a person who will make an important life decision. At the start of the film we meet a couple, Amar and Luna, who are on the same wavelength, travelling the same path. They love each other and long for a child. However, their paths start to diverge drastically when they have to make new decisions, both as a couple and as individuals. Major changes occur when Amar loses his job and meets Bahrija, an old friend from the army. The latter, an orthodox Muslim, offers Amar a well-paid job as a computer teacher at a summer camp which turns out to be a secluded Wahhabi commune. Luna doesn’t like the look of Bahrija or his burqa-clad wife. But it is the latter who becomes Luna’s guide through this alien camp situated by a lake in idyllic natural surroundings, where everyone addresses each other as brother and sister, where there are no cigarettes, alcohol or mobile phones. The film’s director handed the role of Bahrija’s wife to the fine actress Mirjana Karanović, a member of the Grand Jury at this year’s KVIFF, with whom she also worked on the film Grbavica.