SONJA AND THE BULL
In this beautifully shot Croatian film, director Vlatka Vorkapić presents a melding of modern concerns with the long-standing traditions surrounding bull fighting.
The film centres on a young vegetarian and animal rights activist living in Zagreb. An opponent of traditional bullfighting in the Dalmatian hinterland, Sonja speaks out against the practice, sparking resentment and anger from traditionally-minded locals. They send a representative – the handsome Ante Kevo – to bring her to the village where they propose a bizarre series of tests and bets. Sonja is game, and, as sparks fly between her and the locals in this heady culture clash, a relationship develops between her and Kevo.
Not an outright rom-com, this film gives a sensitive look at old world tradition vs. modern-day values, providing insights and approaches that will stimulate debate. Strong performances from both leads (JuditaFrankovic and GoranBogdan) anchor the film, along with a stolid turn from Goronja the bull. Funny, charming, undeniably beautiful, Sonja and the Bull is a highlight of Croatian filmmaking. (Astrid Bulmer)
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