Schmidt is part of a new generation of Croatian film directors,
a generation that started their careers just as former Yugoslavia
fell apart. No matter the politics, his films are known to
a Serbian festival public just as they are to a new Croatian
audience. He is the brand new name in politically independent
Croatia, a young, recently formed country. His latest film,
Queen of the Night, won Best Producer Award at Pula's Film
of the Night is a gentle and smooth film about nostalgia,
with a strong political connotation, reviewing the past communist
regime in Yugoslavia, in 1968.
main character is a young, attractive river rower, Tomo. As
the best rower in town, Tomo has the honor to race in front
of former Yugoslav President Tito. But after his hard work
and training, he finds out he can not row because of medical
problems. After one serious pain attack, young Tomo ends up
in the hospital. Although the doctors forbid him to participate
in the rowing competition, local politicians do not allow
Tomo to give up because of Tito’s visit.
the meantime, after his personal failure with his girlfriend,
Tomo visits a local “queen of the night,” a prostitute who
heals his physical problem with patience and with a one-night
stand. At the same time, Tomo’s friend gets the "Tito Welcome"
banner dirty; but for that, instead of Tomo’s friend, Tomo’s
father ends up in prison. After a night in prison as a political
suspect, Tomo’s father dies from a police beating. The morning
young Tomo finds out his father died, he wins the big Welcome
Tito Rowing Competition, although Tito fails to show for the
successfully portrays 1960’s nostalgia for former Yugoslavia.
He portrays the time perfectly, through costumes and the portrayal
of people’s ideology and way of living at the time, showing
no mercy for the political reality of the ‘60s. The reality
that only survivors know -- his own reality. This is very
aesthetically clean movie. Well done, Branko Schmidt.