Wednesday, April 12, 2023
Original Title: Balada
Length: 120 min
Country: Bosnia and Herzegovina, France
Film Category: Feature Narrative
Cast & Credits
Director: Aida Begić
Producer: Aida Begić, Adis Djapo, Erol Zubčević
Coproducer: François D’Artemare
Screenplay: Aida Begić
Cinematography by: Erol Zubčević
Film editing: Redžinald Šimek
Production Company: Film House Sarajevo, Les Films de l'Après-midi
Cast: Marija Pikić, Jasna Žalica, Milan Tocinovski, Lana Stanišić, Slaven Vidak, Enes Kozličić, Davor Golubović, Amar Čustović
Merjem-Meri (30), an unambitious housewife and mother of 8-year-old Mila, returns to her parental home after ten years of marriage when her husband, Hasan (44), chases her away in a fit of jealousy. Soon after returning to live with her widowed mother, Meri realizes that she is a prisoner of provincial rules and customs as well as of a complex relationship between her mother and her spoiled younger brother, an indebted gambler. Meri’s hope that she will get custody of her daughter is waning because she is unable to find a permanent job. A marriage proposal from a municipal judge, Samir (46), who is much older than her, could solve that problem, but also destroy her soul.
Meri does not want to marry Samir and is helped in making that decision by a high school friend, hairdresser Adela (30). Adela opens Meri’s eyes to the world a bit and encourages her to seek independence and live her own life. Driven by the need to find her true self, Meri responds to a casting call for a film that will be filmed in her neighborhood. She participates in the audition and wins a role in the film. On top of her other problems, Meri, as well as many other women she meets during casting, find purpose and comfort in the film because it enables them to become someone else. After a series of complications and absurd twists, such as when Meri shoots a local racketeer, the whole situation gets a special quality once Meri realizes that her entire life is an imaginary story fabricated by someone other than her.
Aida Begić graduated in directing at the Academy of Performing Arts Sarajevo. Her graduation film First Death Experience was presented at the Cinéfondation of Cannes Film Festival. Her debut feature Snow was premiered at Cannes, Semaine de la Critique, where it won the Grand Prix. Snow was nominated for a European Academy Film Award, Discovery Section. Her second feature film Children of Sarajevo premiered in Un Certain Regard, Official Selection of the Cannes FF where it won Special Distinction of the Jury. She wrote and directed the short film Album, part of omnibus Bridges of Sarajevo that had its world premiere as Official Selection of the Cannes FF. Her feature film Never leave me is screened and awarded at many festivals around the world. In 2022 she finished her fourth feature A Ballad. Aida Begić is professor at The Academy of Performing Arts Sarajevo and she is member of AMPAS, EFA, SACD and UFRBiH.