With regions such as Kosovo, one is not surprised that the Balkans are always filled with tension. Whereas the issues are caused by adults, it is often the kids who have to suffer alongside. Coming from the Balkans myself, I was intently drawn by the story line of the 2015 Serbian drama Enclave, written and directed by Goran Radovanovic.
For many people in the Western world, scenes from the life of a 10-year-old Serbian boy, Nenad (Filip Subaric), may look bizarre (going to school in a KFOR armored fighting vehicle…etc.), yet the story emits a sense of authenticity. “My life in Kosovo is the same as the audience sees on the screen”, confirmed the young actor playing the lead role in Enclave at the film’s premiere at the Summer Stage in Vrnjačka Banja.
As a protagonist of a Coming-of-Age story, Filip Subaric intrigues the audience up to the point that one is unable to remain indifferent towards the fate of his character. Naturally, as is expected from a serious drama, the film’s prevailing mood is quite melancholic – with some of the settings (the ruins of an Orthodox church) striking right at one’s heart. While there are no overly violent scenes, the sense of dread (or even hatred) is omnipresent.
The narrative progresses at a slow pace appropriate for a drama, yet this did not diminish my impression of the excellent storytelling.