Winner of the prestigious Caméra d’Or Prize at the 2021 Cannes Film Festival, Croatian film Murina will be on national UK release from 8th April. From Croatian director Antoneta Alamat Kusijanović, the film tells the story of teenager Julija and the strained relationships with her mother and father, and the arrival of an old family friend to their Croatian island home.
The film follows restless teenage Julija and the tensions that arise between her and her oppressive oppressive father Ante when an old family friend arrives to visit them. When Ante attempts to broker a life-changing deal, their tranquil yet isolated existence leaves Julija wanting more from this influential visitor, who provides a taste of liberation over a weekend laid bare to desire and violence.
Murina stars Gracija Filipović as Julija, Leon Lučev as Ante, Danica Čurčić as Nela and Cliff Curtis as Javier.
Director Antoneta Alamat Kusijanović says about the film:
In Murina I wanted to explore the tensions of a family invaded by a foreigner, an outsider who propels a girl’s inner power to confront the limitations of the mentality she’s known her whole life.
Antoneta goes on to say:
Julija lives in a physical paradise on a Croatian island, but in a society obsessed with getting rich quick by selling away its own essence, where a daughter’s strength is mistaken for her father’s weakness, and land’s value is mistaken for profit.
Julija has an intuition for these dynamics, and for me that is a divine spark I see in young girls. She is like the murina, the moray eel, an animal that will bite its own flesh to break free from a fisherman. Her power is her faith in herself, in nature, and in the unknown. Her power is that she refuses to be silenced.
Murina was executive produced by Martin Scorsese, and Murina’s producers’ other credits include Call Me By Your Name and Frances Ha, with the cinematographer also behind The Lost Daughter and Happy as Lazzaro.
As well as the Caméra d’Or Prize at the Cannes Film Festival, Murina was also part of the official selection at the 2021 Toronto International Film Festival, the 2021 São Paulo International Film Festival and the 2021 CPH: PIX.
The film has been given five stars by Culturefly who say it is “sultry and absorbing”; Flickering Myth say it is “heart-stopping” and give it 4 stars, as does Total Film.
Watch the official trailer for Murina below:
About the director
Writer-director Antoneta Alamat Kusijanović is Dubrovnik born and currently based in New York. Antoneta graduated with an MA from the Academy of Dramatic Arts in Zagreb and an MFA in Screenwriting and Directing from Columbia University in New York. She is an alumna of the Berlinale Talent Lab, Sarajevo Talent Lab, La Femis Producing Atelier, and the Marcie Bloom Fellowship and is a member of the Academy.
Murina is Antoneta’s first feature film, although her 2017 short film Into The Blue was nominated for a Student Academy Award, and won awards at the Berlin International Film Festival, Sarajevo Film Festival, Oberhausen Film Festival, and the Festival de Premier Plans, Angers, among many others. Antoneta’s other credits include If We Must Die (short), Christmas Tree (short), Eye for an Eye (short) and Nonina (short).
Murina was developed with support from the Résidence du Festival Cannes, Cinéfondation, First Films First by the Ghoethe-Institute, and Jerusalem Film Lab is produced by Martin Scorsese Sikelia, RT features and Antitalent.
Be sure to check local listings to see where Murina is playing near you from 8th April, or online at www.modernfilms.com/murina. (Screening details to be updated soon.)