BA

In production

The Land

Zemlja

Is modern civilization making us forget our roots? Can solitude be liberating?

Twenty years after the war, a remote mountain village in Bosnia is almost completely deserted. Only a handful of people have returned to continue with the life as it once was. For them, the land is their source of life, pride, history, memories, with their roots embedded deep underground, making it unthinkable to leave.

The main character of the film is Smiljka, an old woman living alone at the edge of a forest, surrounded by deserted, half-ruined houses, silent remnants of the war. Her everyday life closely follows nature’s one-year cycle. She struggles to live off the land and in harmony with her surroundings. Her isolation is both lonely and liberating. The abandoned houses that Smiljka passes by every day used to be homes for her relatives and neighbors. Now, they rarely come to visit the place of their birth and bring flowers to the cemetery. These gapping walls are reminders of the cruelty of war, and witnesses of some better, past times.

The film is following her daily routines, emphasizing this specific, slow transience of time, deep connection with the nature and the joy and freedom self-sufficiency brings. The Land is an observational documentary without a classical narrative structure. Rather, It is a meditative visual contemplation about loneliness and an old-fashioned life style that is about to disappear. That way it becomes a symbol of our connection with our roots, with the nature. It is a witness of the turbulent past and a prophecy for the future.
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