A Film a Week - A Perfect Love Story Where Nothing Goes Wrong or Does It...?

 previously published on Cineuropa

The lengthy title of Emina Kujundžić’s directorial debut, A Perfect Love Story Where Nothing Goes Wrong or Does It..?, pretty much sums up the whole film. It seems like the director wanted to give her own personal insights on the topic of love outside of the romantic preconceptions prevalent in the modern, interconnected world. The movie premiered at the Sarajevo Film Festival earlier this year and is currently playing as a special screening in the Festivals in the Spotlight section of the Zagreb Film Festival.

Kujundžić, however, opens her film on a slightly “meta” level: a female filmmaker played by Sadžida Tulić is at a meeting with an important producer (Srđan Vuletić), and she films him giving her feedback on her script. In a slightly misogynistic manner, he calls it too short and caught up in typical “feminine details”, like the colours of clothes, furniture and props, while lacking any real substance or information on who and what the characters in the film really are. Bearing in mind that Kujundžić’s previous credits included production design and costume design activities, this character might as well be a stand-in for her. In the following scene, she complains about it to her “partner in crime” (Luka Marjanović), who takes the producer’s side somewhat, since he does not know much about the film project.

The rest of Kujundžić’s movie is pretty much the film that the director tries to make. A nameless Sarajevo urbanite (Enisa Njemčević) lives with her French boyfriend (Victor Bessière) in a seemingly harmonious relationship. In the middle of the night, they wake up, load up their car and embark on a road trip through Herzegovina, towards the sea. There is a lot of chatter on the radio station that they are listening to, about an audacious bank heist that they may or may not have anything to do with. One thing is certain: they have a huge stash of money. But this is not a ride into the sunset, because our two leads grow further and further apart owing to the differences in their characters and attitudes: while his wishes are simple, hers are ambitious and sometimes radical.

Halfway through, Kujundžić goes back to the meta level by introducing two foreign, diva-like female producers (Lana Ball and Emma Jaay), who are more interested in their thoughts on the topic of who is watching whom in the film world than in the actual filmmaking process. This is clearly a comment, as are the manic jump cuts in the scenes that the directress shares with her partner and the fact that, as the “plot” of the film unfolds, both lead and supporting characters start speaking their own languages, and everybody understands each other. Eventually, A Perfect Love Story Where Nothing Goes Wrong or Does It..? is not so much about love as it is about sincere filmmaking and the impossibilities of both in a world that is cynical to its core.

However, that world is not completely devoid of beauty, at least superficially, as shown in the cinematography by Almir Đikoli, which highlights the small wonders of life in a natural way, and in the inspired, eclectic soundtrack by Sloven Anzulović. The cast of lesser-known actors, mostly non-professionals, also fits the bill perfectly, making this a sincere filmmaking experiment, rather than a story (love or otherwise) actually being told.

A Perfect Love Story Where Nothing Goes Wrong or Does It..? is a completely crowd-funded, micro-budget film financed through an Indiegogo campaign, with donations from private sources in Bosnia and Herzegovina and Croatia. There was no production company involved, and the cast and crew worked on it for free.

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