The film is co-directed by Sead Šabotić & Lea Vahrušev, the latter is also the producer.
Take a look at the still above. Marko is trying to find out if his new sneakers fit him. His wife has sent them to him. His is not that happy, they are not so comfortable but he does not want to tell her. The scene, in itself it could be seen as insignificant, becomes important as the camera stays with him for a long time, no hurry – as in many other moments in the film. And the scene builds up to the visit of the wife at the Belgrade District Prison, Block 5-1, where the filmmakers have found a handful of young (and younger) inmates, with charisma and well built bodies – and a lot of worries about how to cope with the life outside that is waiting for them; work and family, kids.
The film goes close to the characters. You get a strong impression of how it is to be in the prison, of the friendships, of the very much time they choose to exercise and think and talk openly with each other about what is waiting for them. Outside. They talk with staff and each other.
The film refrains from digging into, why they are there. The camera work is excellent (Milan Petkovic) and the edting (Mina Petrovic) likewise, allowing well framed significant images to be informative mixed with close-ups of heads and bodies. The filmmakers trust the image, bravo for that. And through the narrative approach they express respect towards the inmates and let us viewers see what it means to leave the prison.
The world is full of prison-documentaries. This one is one of the better.
Serbia, 2020, 67 mins.