Only Trailer Available

Director – Vesna Marich

Genre – Short Documentary

Duration – 26 minutes

Country – Bosnia and Herzegovina

Language – Croatian

Year – 2023

SYNOPSIS : The film is about Marija Srhoj, an 86-year-old disabled matriarch of the Srhoj family. She is a healer, natural herbalist, spiritual soul, and poet. It is also about the place where she was born and lived, Lovište on the Croatian coast, which itself embodies the history of Marija’s life.

This film goes back into the photo archives and the memories of Marija’s childhood and youth in the 1940s and 1950s, when the inequalities of life between men and women in some parts of Croatia were the norm. It also shows Marija’s interactions with locals who come to her for advice on growing plants or because of a pinched muscle. That’s where Marija’s mischievous side “steals the show,” which is also a melancholic ode to her late husband Ivan, the sailor, and their boat, which is no more.

Marija’s power is hidden in her healing abilities, ferocious will, and strong muscles. Her life was made up of hard labour. She was used to rock-splitting and fishing in harsh conditions to feed her children. Reconstructed scenes depict a younger Marija on a boat and on the oar, as well as building her own house with her own two hands.

Marija suffered from diabetes for years and eventually lost her leg due to complications. She ended up in a wheelchair and became dependent on her children. This would be a tragedy for any person, but it was even more so for such a strong and independent woman.

Lovište, a well-known partisan hub in the Second World War, was prosperous during the 1970s and 1980s. Then came the end of the 1980s, followed by the war in the 1990s. This small but flourishing village with its own agricultural cooperative loses its wealth. It becomes just one of the small tourist destinations, where the only means of earning a living are in hospitality or in building houses for the new elite.

Marija is in her 80s and has nothing to lose, so she tells the true story of Lovište with a tear in her eye.

Three months after the filming ended, Marija passed away. This film is her legacy and is dedicated to her and the women of Lovište.


Official Selection April 2023

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