Saturday, 17 April 2010

The Blacks - Filmhouse - 17/4/10

Set at the end of the Balkans crisis as the ceasefire is signed this thriller from co-directors Goran Devic and Zvonimir Juric tells the story of a group of Crnci (Blacks) who appear to have the task of taking care of "dirty" jobs. While nothing is shown to explain what that might mean the inference is that they may have been involved in some very unpleasant activities. The group are led by Ivo and despite the ceasefire he has decided to take the group on one more mission to rescue other members of the blacks but this doesn't end well for anyone.

There is no plot spoiler in telling you that all but one of the group die as that is shown at the films start and from there we are taken back to an earlier point to explain how this came to pass. All of the men are, clearly, haunted by the things they have seen and done. The only enemy appears to be the enemy within themselves; born out of the awful acts they have been involved in.

It's an interesting premise for a film and a period in modern European history that hasn't really been tackled in any detail before but sadly the film drags even with a running time of only 80 minutes. The decision to focus on the internal struggles over "action" is an honorable one but something is missing and the pace of the film doesn't allow you to overcome the fact that nothing is actually happening.

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