Dir/scr: Nedzad Begovic. Bosnia and Herzegovina. 2010. 89mins
A fairly crude Balkan riff on Kolya, Jasmina sees local actor Zijah Sokolovic play a drunk whose life is rescued by possibly the cutest and most-undemanding baby known to film. That she happens to be a refugee from war-torn Sarajevo goes a way towards explaining why Jasmina never seems hungry and sleeps through her new guardian’s extravagant benders, but only the most undemanding audiences will be as accommodating as this gorgeous tot.
Jasmina has the look of the local TV success it will eventually become.
When her heroic doctor mother decides not to board a humanitarian convoy leaving Sarajevo in order to carry on working at the hospital, baby Jasmina (Amila Dikoli) and granny Safa (Nada Durevska) must go it alone, winding up in a village on the Adriatic Coast. Life is pretty uneventful there, apart from their next-door-neighbour, the town drunk Stipe (Sokolovic) and his tattered band of brothers who terrorise the asthmatic granny for cash to buy their booze.
Safa’s (nicely played by Durevska) condition soon deteriorates, and she collapses dramatically on her neighbour’s doorstep, thrusting Jasmina into his care. Nobody in the village seems at all bothered by the fact that this notorious boozehound is carrying a baby around in a cardboard box, and soon enough, Stipe has sworn off the booze and is pining after his own mother.
There are few places left for this film to go after Stipe bonds with Jasmina, and director-screenwriter Nedzad Begovic dutifully follows them all over a slim-enough 89 minutes. Attempts at flamboyant touches, such as adding a band of strolling local minstrels to the proceedings, don’t quite come off. Technically, Jasmina has the look of the local TV success it will eventually become, although a theatrical outing in Bosnia will no doubt be warmly welcomed.
Production company/international sales: SaGA Production, www.sagafilm.com
Producer/editor: Izmet Arnautalic
Cinematography: Amir Dikoli
Production designers: Vedran Hrustanovic, Naida Begovic
Main cast: Zijah Sokolovic, Nada Durevska, Amila Dikoli