Virdzina (original title)
1h 41min | Drama | 5 April 1991 (Yugoslavia)
“Virgina” tells a tale from the end of the 19th century. It took place in a isolated village near the Adriatic Sea. Because of the extreme patriarchal culture there is a superstition that families without male heirs are cursed. When the wife of a farmer gives birth to their fourth daughter, father decides that the child will become a so-called “Virgina” and that she will live as a man, so that she can work and be the family heir. This heartbreaking story of Virgina’s life is told with strong words, augmented with harsh environment.
The idea of this film is quite original and intriguing. I watched it for the first time about a year ago and I now consider it one of my favourite films of all time. As an English speaker, the Serbian dialogue/necessity of subtitles did not take anything from my enjoyment, as it added to the otherworldly, minimalistic atmosphere. After being flooded with Hollywood sensationalism, a film like this is extremely refreshing- dramatic but not melodramatic. It is honest and beautiful. The focus is on the internal and external struggles of the characters instead of action and visual effects. I found myself brought to tears by the plight of the protagonist; I would recommend this to anyone who likes foreign films, GLBT films (as it shows a different aspect of gender identity), or “slow”, thoughtful dramas.
Director: Srdjan Karanovic
Writer: Srdjan Karanovic
Stars: Miodrag Krivokapic, Ina Gogálová, Slobodan Milovanovic
Country: Yugoslavia | France
Release Date: 5 April 1991 (Yugoslavia)
Also Known As: Virgina