Oscars: Croatia Selects 'On the Other Side' for Foreign-Language Category

On the Other Side Still - Publicity - H 2016
Courtesy of Interfilm

On the Other Side Still - Publicity - H 2016

Zrinko Ogresta's postwar drama won seven awards at Croatia's national festival in Pula in July.

Zrinko Ogresta's On the Other Side, a drama of the long shadow cast by civil war, is the Croatian Filmmakers' Association submission in the best foreign-language category of the Academy Awards.

The film, which won seven top awards, including the grand prix and best director honors, at Croatia's Pula Film Festival in July, depicts the destructive consequences for one family long after the end of the Balkans civil war.

The simple life of a middle-aged nurse, Vesna (played by Ksenija Marinkovic, who won the best actress award at Pula), is disrupted when her long-estranged husband Zarko (Lazar Ristovski, who won best actor at Pula), just released from a 20-year sentence for war crimes, calls her from Serbia.

Zarko's dark deeds in the war, when he fought for Serbia, come back to haunt Vesna and her two grownup children, wreaking havoc on their lives and careers.

In its review, The Hollywood Reporter noted that the film "puts an intriguing new slant on the conventions of postwar Balkan cinema," ending on a "poetic visual flourish, leaving unresolved the possibly insoluble questions hanging in the air like a perfume."

The film is produced by Ivan Maloca of Zagreb's Interfilm with the support of the Croatian Audiovisual Center. Belgrade's Zillion Film Ristovski and Croatian Radio and Televiosn (HRT) co-produced. World sales are being handled by Cercamon, Dubai.

Croatia has been submitting films for the Academy Awards since gaining independence in 1992 following the breakup of Yugoslavia, but has never been nominated.