Directing duo Dušan Zorić and Matija Gluščević make their feature debut with “Have You Seen This Woman?,” which has its world premiere Sept. 8 during the Venice Film Festival’s Critics’ Week. Variety has been given exclusive access to the trailer.
Divided into three chapters, “Have You Seen This Woman?” presents three acts that follow three different lives of a middle-aged woman of the same name. In the heat of a summer day, Draginja discovers a dead body that resembles her. Elsewhere, another hires a fake husband to show off in front of her friends. Finally, on a cold winter night, a third Draginja roams the streets hoping to recover her lost memory. Through three different life possibilities, each tries to get out of her skin in her own way.
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The film is produced by Čarna Vučinić for Non-Aligned Films in co-production with Tena Gojić for Dinaridi Films. It features Ksenija Marinković in the lead role, alongside an ensemble cast of Serbian and Croatian stars including Isidora Simijonović, Boris Isaković, Alex Elektra, Ivana Vuković, Vlasta Velisavljević, Goran Bogdan and Jasna Đuričić.
Speaking to Variety ahead of the premiere, directors Zorić and Gluščević explained how they wanted their feature debut to front the stories of middle-aged women who are “rarely portrayed in cinema,” or rendered as supporting characters “at the service of others,” something they described as “a reflection of the society we are living in.”
“In life, middle-aged women are wrongly perceived only through the archetype of mothers. That is why our own moms were the main source of inspiration for the film,” they continued. “They are the most visible yet invisible persons in our lives, and when you start looking closer, you discover a whole hidden universe that wants to break free.”
“Contemporary cinema in the Balkans rarely gives voice to female characters,” said producer Vučinić. “This film explores the multiverse of a middle-aged woman, who goes through life by suppressing her inner desires and playing the roles that society has picked for her. The strong central performance delivered by Ksenija Marinković shows the great courage of an amazing actress in playing such a challenging character.”
Vučinić credited the contributions of a predominantly female team and an all-star cast “who trusted Dusan and Matija and believed in their vision.”
“The idea was to make a film that keeps reshaping itself, mirroring the changes of the main character, shifting from one genre to another — from drama to comedy to fantasy and vice versa,” said the directors. “We aimed at building a narrative that will be constantly surprising to the audience.”
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