BESA

By Srdjan KARANOVIC

EMOTION FILM - as PROD

Drama - Completed 2009

Unexpected and forbidden love between a Christian woman a Muslim man threatens to bring into question a life or death oath.

    • Year of production
    • 2009
    • Genres
    • Drama
    • Countries
    • SERBIA, SLOVENIA, FRANCE, HUNGARY
    • Languages
    • SERBIAN, SLOVENIAN
    • Budget
    • 1 - 3 M$
    • Duration
    • 100 mn
    • Director(s)
    • Srdjan KARANOVIC
    • Writer(s)
    • Srdjan KARANOVIC
    • Producer(s)
    • Jelena MITROVIC (Film House Bas Celik), Danijel HOCEVAR (Vertigo / Emotionfilm), Cedomir KOLAR (ASAP Films), Dragan DJURKOVIC (Vision Team), Denes SZEKERES (Tivoli Films), Slobodan TRNINIC (Arkadena Zagreb)
    • Synopsis
    • At the very beginning of the First World War, FILIP, a Serb and the principal of a gymnasium in a small Serbian town, is summoned urgently to Belgrade to serve in the war effort. He has no one to leave his wife, LEA, with. She is a young and pretty Slovenian woman, a teacher of rhythmics and dance he met while studying in Western Europe. AZEM, an illiterate, patriarchal Albanian, the school custodian, gives Filip his solemn oath, his ‘Besa’ (in the Albanian tradition: when someone gives their word which must be kept even if they lose their life in the process) that he would look after Lea and see to it that nothing happened to her. Two Europeans, from two entirely different cultures and habits are forced to an awkward cohabitation in the empty school. While the war rages in the background and gets menacingly closer, their interaction develops from hatred, through intolerance, to tolerance and an unusual friendship. Circumstances gradually draw Lea and Azem, a Christian woman and a Muslim man, into a complex forbidden relationship – something like love! More than merely a romantic story, this movie is a paradigm of profound ethnic and class divisions in Europe in the early 20th century which some of them prevail to this day. Would Lea and Azem succeed in overcoming all obstacles and be able to love each other? Would their sincere and passionate love be stronger than Azem’s firm commitment to his oath? What will Filip do when he comes back and realizes that she no longer loves him as she did before and when war finally reaches the little town? BESA is an exciting, unusual, fierce and sometimes even funny story about two people who had absolutely nothing in common except their
      feelings.
    • Partners & financing
    • Produced by FILM HOUSE BAS CELIK (Serbia), VERTIGO / EMOTIONFILM (Slovenia), ASAP FILMS (France), VISION TEAM (Serbia), TIVOLI FILMS (Hungary).
      Co-produced by STUDIO ARKADENA ZAGREB (Croatia).
      Co-financed by FILM CENTER SERBIA, SLOVENIAN FILM FUND, CNC - FONDS SUD, HUNGARIAN MOTION PICTURE FOUNDATION, MINISTRY OF CULTURE (CROATIA).
    • Production schedule
    • Shooting: July - September 2008
      Post-Production: October 2008 - April 2009
      Completed: March 2010
    • Beginning of shooting
    • Jul 01, 2008
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