Šabotić & Varushev: Twins Woven from Dreams

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.



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Tue Steen Müller
Tue Steen Müller

Müller, Tue Steen
Documentary Consultant and Critic, DENMARK

Worked with documentary films for more than 20 years at the Danish Film Board, as press officer, festival representative and film consultant/commissioner. Co-founder of Balticum Film and TV Festival, Filmkontakt Nord, Documentary of the EU and EDN (European Documentary Network).
Awards: 2004 the Danish Roos Prize for his contribution to the Danish and European documentary culture. 2006 an award for promoting Portuguese documentaries. 2014 he received the EDN Award “for an outstanding contribution to the development of the European documentary culture”. 2016 The Cross of the Knight of the Order for Merits to Lithuania. 2019 a Big Stamp at the 15th edition of ZagrebDox. 2021 receipt of the highest state decoration, Order of the Three Stars, Fourth Class, for the significant contribution to the development and promotion of Latvian documentary cinema outside Latvia. In 2022 he received an honorary award at DocsBarcelona’s 25th edition having served as organizer and programmer since the start of the festival.
From 1996 until 2005 he was the first director of EDN (European Documentary Network). From 2006 a freelance consultant and teacher in workshops like Ex Oriente, DocsBarcelona, Archidoc, Documentary Campus, Storydoc, Baltic Sea Forum, Black Sea DocStories, Caucadoc, CinéDOC Tbilisi, Docudays Kiev, Dealing With the Past Sarajevo FF as well as programme consultant for the festivals Magnificent7 in Belgrade, DOCSBarcelona, Verzio Budapest, Message2Man in St. Petersburg and DOKLeipzig. Teaches at the Zelig Documentary School in Bolzano Italy.

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