1h 44min | Drama | 10 March 2016 (Germany)
Ten-year-old Nori (Val Maloku) and his father Gezim (Astrit Kabashi) roam the streets of Kosovo selling cigarettes and barely earning a living. Only a few years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, Gezim is lured west to Germany, leaving his son behind in search of a new life. Feeling deserted and desperate to claim some sense of stability, Nori embarks on a dangerous journey to Germany in search of his father. His tenacity, resilience, and sheer grit must be enough to guide him.
The story takes place in the early 1990s, while ten-year-old Nori (Val Maloku) and his father, Gezim (Astrit Kabashi), are trying to make a living in pre-war Kosovo. The pair survive by selling cigarettes on the streets and thanks to the hospitality of an uncle who offers them a place to sleep. When this situation is no longer sustainable, Gezim decides to try his luck in Germany, leaving his son to be cared for by this relative. But this is something that young Nori, who is very close to a paternal figure he admires and imitates, won’t consider as an option. Thus he begins a daring and poignant odyssey across different countries and landing him in some extreme situations, which will eventually lead him to confront his father for having left without him.
As Morina confessed, the most important thing for him was the relationship between the two main characters, which he believes takes on a major role in itself. He succeeded in finding two actors with incredible talent to mimic and oppose each other, even when they are not in the same scene. Although the credibility of the journey may falter at times, it is certainly the chemistry between the two protagonists that keeps the whole story coherent.
All of the action, characters and situations are depicted from Nori’s point of view, which offers a genuine, though somewhat superficial, portrayal of Kosovo’s society during those years. The movie is not intended to be a political statement, but Morina puts a great deal of effort into recreating a certain atmosphere of violence and fear; a specific but universal situation that heavily influences both the attitudes of and the decisions made by the main characters.