The Optimists

  • 98'
  • Serbia
  • 2006
After The Powder Keg and Midwinter Night’s Dream, this film is the final part of Goran Paskaljevic’s trilogy about Serbia in the last decade. The film has the form of an anthology, consisting of five separate stories bound together by one element: the excellent performance and creation of different characters by the actor Lazar Ristovski. The black humour sometimes turns grey when we realise how much true observation it contains and that it is identifiable not only with Serbia.
In the first part, the optimism of an escaped psychiatric patient heals the inhabitants of a flooded village. The second story reflects on what money can do to poor people when they depend on the rich. Money is also a leitmotif in the third part, where a young man tries to learn the trick of winning at gambling from an old lady. The fourth part shows the owner of a slaughterhouse who calls for a cardiologist to help with his weird son who has been locked inside the house to prevent him from slaughtering the animals. The closing story is about believers with health problems - naive people who jump at the promise by a ‘modern entrepreneur’ of a miraculous recovery.
Besides the virtuosity of Lazar Ristovski there are also excellent performances by about fifty of the best Serbian actors. Together with the excellent script and direction they create yet another piece of art by this master. (LC)


Director
Goran Paskaljevic
Countries of production
Serbia, Spain, Switzerland
Production Year
2006
Festival Edition
IFFR 2007
Length
98'
Medium
35mm
Original title
Optimisti
Language
Serbian
Producers
Goran Paskaljevic, Philip Zepter
Production Companies
Nova Film, Zepter International, Wanda Vision S.A., Swiss Effects
Sales
Nova Film
Screenplay
Vladimir Paskaljevic, Goran Paskaljevic
Cinematography
Milan Spasic
Editor
Petar Putnikovic
Production Design
Tijana Maric
Sound Design
Branko Neškov
Music
Aleksandar Simic
Cast
Lazar Ristovski, Petar Bozovic