“You Carry Me” is a movie without any comparison in modern regional cinematography
"Three interconnected stories, in three different timelines, about men and women from three different social classes, are linked regionally by a successful soap opera „The Prisoners of Happiness“.
The make-up artist is married to a petty dealer and criminal, who's trying to improve himself. The director has a father who suffers from dementia and occasionally strays to the city. The producer is unfaithful to her equally unfaithful husband. But the central character in the story is the little girl, daughter of the make-up artist and the dealer, a tomboy girl who dreams of becoming a football manager and learns by heart all the speeches by Zdravko Mamić, her role model. Dora is the angel of the film, she opens the movie with famous lines by Mamić: „Concentrate, please!“. At the same time, Dora is the only character with a plan for the future. All the other characters are trapped inside their respective lives and different circumstances, while Dora is a symbol of the future in a world and in a city without any.
If the celluloid tape would still exist, it would surely snap by its powerful, ripping emotions. This movie is without a single corny scene or false consolation. At the same time, everything in this film is very ordinary – a mother pushing her baby in a pram, who starts cursing furiously when another woman runs into her accidentally, while stepping out of a building; a husband cheating on his wife with his subordinates; the Maksimir Stadium that echoes with hatred; the city of Zagreb, frosty and covered with snow. Beneath the threatening ordinariness, both private and social, emerges a perfect mutual incomprehension. Beside the fact that they live in different timelines, people do not recognize one another even when they meet accidentally. They are prisoners of the illusion of a possible happiness, which, however, they will not attain.
“You Carry Me” is a movie with a complex, yet very precise and clear structure, lasting two and a half hours – not a minute more or less than it should. There was no such movie in Croatian cinematography in the last twenty-five years – or much before that, as a matter of fact. It resembles the French trilogy by Krzysztof Kieslowski, to whom a little homage is paid in one scene – Kieslowski's character is trying to throw a bottle into a dumpster, while Juka’s character is trying to take it out of one. Apart from the precisely developed story and structure, and the strong rootedness in the local environment, Juka and Kieslowski also share a sense of hopelessness reconciled with the, for Croatian cinematography and literature quite unexpected, subtlety of suffering and dealing with that suffering. The art of creating a feature film with a documentary tone is another similarity between the two.
In one scene, Dora is singing in front of the bathroom while her father is inside with her brother. Her father told her to sing, so he can know she's outside. This is perhaps an ordinary life situation, but life is made up of such ordinary situations. Great writers know how to transform these situations into a literary text. In the theatre, this is usually impossible. You can find scenes like that in the movies directed only by great directors who work with even greater actors. Young Helena Beljan and former leader of Dinamo's fans (the Bad Blue Boys) Goran Hajduković-Čupko have brought real life into this scene. How? I don't know. But that's what makes this movie great. It’s a miracle in the darkness."
Written by: Miljenko Jergović, awarded prose writer and screenwriter