Review: Border Post

The story is told by Rajko Grlic as a carefree series of serio-comic encounters, recalling the spirit of Catch-22.

Border Post
Photo: Doors Art Foundation

Rajko Grlic’s Border Post is unique for being the first film after Yugoslavia’s breakup to be produced in conjunction by Croatia, Serbia, Slovenia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, and Macedonia. Set a few years before the start of the war in the Balkans, at a border post between Albania and Macedonia, the story features a happy-go-lucky medical student, Sinisa (Toni Gojanovic, whose adorable, perpetual smile disguises mischief), diagnosing his grouchy superior, Pasic (Emir Hadzihafizbegovic), with syphilis. Pasic, hoping for a transfer from the region, keeps his men at their station locale by inventing a false conflict with the Albanians, later sending Sinisa to give messages to his wife, Mirjana (Verica Nedeska), in a nearby town. While Pasic butts heads with an officer under his watch, Sinisa falls for Mirjana, who asks her hunky boy toy to show her the sea. Their sweetly erotic sex scenes are the film’s highlights, as in the scene where Mirjana licks her lovers nipples and wonders if the ocean is every bit as salty. The story, an adaptation of a novel by Ante Tomic, is told by Grlic as a carefree series of serio-comic encounters, recalling the spirit of Heller’s Catch-22, and as such it’s no surprise that that film, while likeable, flirts with inconsequentiality. That is until a final eruption of violence puts things into context, suggesting that the events that came prior, from the camaraderie between troops to the trite power plays brokered up and down the ranks of command, metaphorically represent the serpentine, at once unfathomable and ridiculous factors that fueled the war in the Balkans.

 Cast: Toni Gojanovic, Sergej Trifunovic, Emir Hadzihafisbegovic, Verica Nedeska, Bogdan Diklic, Miodrag Fisekovic, Franjo Dijak, Petre Arsovski, Tadej Troha, Zoran Ljutkov, Igor Bencina, Selim Sendzul  Director: Rajko Grlic  Screenwriter: Rajko Grlic, Ante Tomic  Running Time: 94 min  Rating: NR  Year: 2006

Ed Gonzalez

Ed Gonzalez is the co-founder of Slant Magazine. His writing has also appeared in The Village Voice and The Los Angeles Times. He’s a member of the New York Film Critics Circle, the Critics Choice Association, and the Latino Entertainment Journalists Association.

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