i love serbia

so here was a film i almost didn't see - almost didn't even look to see it was *about* due to my anti-bleakness sentiments - based on the title alone: tears for sale. probably about child trafficking or something equally horrible and dire. i get enough of that in the newspaper. but i checked the synopsis anyway, just to be sure.

and hm, it sounded interesting. and it was, it was!

visually arresting, engaging characters, compelling plot, completely bonkers. i loved it.

set in serbia roughly after the first world war, tears for sale takes place in a mountain village with only one man left - the others all went off to various wars, never to return. the local economy depends upon the vineyard, which the second last man, in trying to protect all the helpless women, sowed with landmines (you can guess how he met his end); during the harvest season, the remaining women draw straws to see who will attempt to enter the fields for reaping. there are a lot of funerals in this village, and our two heroines - orphaned sisters - work as professional mourners, offering a variety of services (sobbing, tearing of hair, face-scratching) for a fee. at the wake for a soon-to-be customer, she makes the girls promise to lose their virginity to the village's last man, a frail elderly fellow. he dies (although not necessarily in the way you'd expect), and the girls are sent away to find a new man for the village - not an easy task in the repeatedly war-torn serbia (and one of the brilliant things about this film is that it is anti-war in a completely non-didactic way - it is just a huge celebrations of life in all life's crazy exuberant grandiosity). tears for sale is a road-trip, a love story, a magic-realist experiment, and just plain awesome. i hope it gets distribution, it would be a shame if it got passed over for being too obscure or something.

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