Nikola and Corina Ilić: Dida

Full names: Nikola Ilić and Corina Schwingruber Ilić – I had seen (some of) their previous short works, the lovely ”Rakijada” and the aesthetical perfect ”All Inclusive”, both films that have travelled to short film festivals all over – and I have been in love with Belgrade and rakija for many many years. And I have met the fine directors.

So now you know why I was positive before the screening, and that impression stayed after having been with the son Nikola, his mother Dida and his granny, not to forget Corina, married to Nikola and with him in the hard and sweet life with mother and granny. The latter, who in the beginning of the film is very much present, a strong person who takes care of her grown up daughter in their small flat. Not an easy task for the old woman, who tells Nikola to step into her role, when she is no longer there. The problem is that Nikola and Corina live and work in Switzerland and Dida has problems dealing with life’s many challenges. And she feels lonely now that granny has passed away in a film that is shot over – at least – 4 years. Nikola and Corina move into her place, get their own appartment in Belgrade, help Dida in all thinkable ways, it’s not easy when she has spent her full pension after two days buying «things» at the Chinese market. The fridge is empty.

Dida visits the two in Switzerland but returns to Belgrade and the stray dogs, she feeds. Nikola and Corina give her a dog, she is happy but does not really know what it means to take care of a dog… «She’s getting on my nerves», Nikola says, a lady moves into Dida to help, good, but still «don’t go, stay with me» says Dida to her son and Corina.

Family Life, social reality, generations it’s all there and I enjoyed to be there because of the tone of the film, which is far from being crying but full of warmth and the humour that comes from Dida, primarily, from her original take on life. I am sure spectators will identify with family situations like these. And love the film like I did. Hvala!

Switzerland/Serbia, 2021, 78 mins.

DOKLeipzig 2021, in Competition for Audience Award. 

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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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