How Kao rani mraz Captures the Essence of Vojvodina's Culture and History
Kao rani mraz: A Serbian Love Story by Đorđe Balašević
If you are looking for a romantic and nostalgic film that will take you back to the times of old Yugoslavia, you might want to check out Kao rani mraz (An Early Frost), a 2010 Serbian film directed by Đorđe Balašević. Balašević is one of the most popular and respected singers and songwriters in Serbia, who also wrote a book-scenario for this film based on his own song "Priča o Vasi Ladačkom" (The Story of Vasa Ladacki). The film features an impressive cast of actors, such as Rade Šerbedžija, Nikola Đuričko, Mustafa Nadarević, Mira Banjac, Zijah Sokolović, Jovana Balašević, Peđa Bjelac, Ivan Đurić, Danica Jurčová, Radoje Čupić, Aleksa Balašević, Ljuma Penov, and many others. In this article, we will give you an overview of the plot, context, style, reception, legacy, symbolism, and meaning of this film.
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The Plot of Kao rani mraz
The film is a dramatization of a story of Vasa Ladački (played by Danijel Kovačević), a young man from Novi Sad who falls in love with a beautiful girl named Ana (played by Jovana Balašević). The story is narrated by Nikola (played by Marko Makivić), Vasa's nephew who witnessed everything that happened after the events described in the song. The film spans from 1948 to 1957, covering some of the most turbulent years in Yugoslav history. Vasa is a talented violinist who dreams of becoming a famous musician. He meets Ana at a wedding where he plays with his band "Rani mraz" (Early Frost). Ana is a daughter of a wealthy Hungarian businessman who lives in a mansion near Novi Sad. They fall in love at first sight and start a secret relationship. However, their love faces many obstacles and challenges. Ana's father does not approve of Vasa because he is poor and Serbian. Vasa's mother does not approve of Ana because she is rich and Hungarian. Vasa's friends do not approve of Ana because she is too good for him. Ana's fiancé does not approve of Vasa because he wants to marry her for her money. And finally, the political situation does not approve of their love because it threatens to tear apart Yugoslavia.
The film follows their ups and downs as they try to overcome all these difficulties and stay together. Along the way, they encounter many colorful characters who help or hinder them. Some of them are based on real people who were part of Balašević's life or inspiration. For example, Rade Šerbedžija plays an older version of Vasa who tells his story to Nikola. Nikola Đuričko plays Đorđe Balašević himself as a young boy who admires Vasa's music. Mustafa Nadarević plays Josip Broz Tito, the leader of Yugoslavia who makes a cameo appearance in Novi Sad. Mira Banjac plays Baba Zlata (Grandma Zlata), Vasa's grandmother who gives him advice and support. Zijah Sokolović plays Deda Mraz (Santa Claus), a mysterious figure who brings gifts to children on New Year's Eve. And Jovana Balašević plays Ana as well as her own mother Olivera Balašević who was also an actress.
The Historical and Cultural Context of Kao rani mraz
The film portrays the life in Vojvodina in the 1940s and 1950s with great accuracy and detail. Vojvodina is a region in northern Serbia that borders Hungary, Romania, Croatia, and Bosnia and Herzegovina. It has a rich history and culture that reflects its diversity and complexity. It has been inhabited by various ethnic groups such as Serbs, Hungarians, Croats, Slovaks, Romanians, Germans, Jews, Roma, and others. It has also been influenced by different religions such as Orthodox Christianity, Catholicism, Protestantism, Islam, and Judaism. It has also been part of different states such as Hungary, Austria-Hungary, Serbia, Yugoslavia, and Serbia again.
The film shows how these different elements coexisted or clashed in Vojvodina during the post-war period. The film depicts the social, economic, and political changes that affected the people of Vojvodina. The film shows the effects of collectivization, nationalization, industrialization, urbanization, and modernization on the traditional way of life. The film also shows the tensions between the communist regime and the nationalist movements, between the central government and the local autonomy, between the majority and the minorities, and between the old generation and the new generation.
The film also celebrates the richness and beauty of Vojvodina's culture. The film showcases the variety and harmony of languages, dialects, accents, and expressions that are spoken or sung in Vojvodina. The film features the diversity and creativity of music, art, literature, and folklore that are produced or performed in Vojvodina. The film highlights the uniqueness and charm of customs, traditions, festivals, and ceremonies that are practiced or celebrated in Vojvodina. The film demonstrates the hospitality and generosity of people, food, drink, and humor that are offered or enjoyed in Vojvodina.
The Style and Aesthetics of Kao rani mraz
The film uses music, cinematography, costumes, and dialogues to create a nostalgic and poetic atmosphere that matches Balašević's style as a singer and writer. The film is full of songs that are either composed by Balašević or inspired by his songs. Some of them are original songs that were written for this film such as "Kao rani mraz", "Ne volim januar", "Odlazi cirkus", "Ne lomite mi bagrenje", "Život je more", "Neki novi klinci", "Devojka sa čardaš nogama", "Boža zvani Pub", "Provincijalka", "Na bogojavljensku noć", "Svirajte mi jesen stiže dunjo moja", "Lepa protina kći", "Samo da rata ne bude", The Reception and Criticism of Kao rani mraz
The film was released in 2010 and had a limited distribution in Serbia and some neighboring countries. It was not shown in cinemas, but only in theaters and cultural centers. The film was also available on DVD and online platforms. The film received mixed reviews from the audience and critics. Some praised the film for its emotional and artistic value, while others criticized it for its length, pace, plot, and direction.
Some of the positive aspects of the film were:
The film was a sincere and personal expression of Balašević's vision and feelings.
The film was a tribute to Vojvodina's culture and history, and a celebration of its diversity and beauty.
The film had a nostalgic and poetic atmosphere that matched Balašević's style as a singer and writer.
The film had a great cast of actors who gave convincing and touching performances.
The film had a memorable soundtrack that featured Balašević's songs and other musical genres.
Some of the negative aspects of the film were:
The film was too long (almost three hours) and slow-paced, and had many unnecessary scenes and dialogues.
The film had a weak plot that was based on a simple and predictable love story.
The film had a poor direction that lacked coherence, clarity, and creativity.
The film had a low production quality that showed its low budget and amateurish approach.
The film had a biased and idealized portrayal of Vojvodina's past that ignored its darker and more complex aspects.
The Legacy of Kao rani mraz
Despite its mixed reception and limited distribution, the film had a significant impact on the Serbian cinema and culture. The film influenced other filmmakers who wanted to explore their personal stories and express their artistic visions. The film also inspired other artists who wanted to celebrate their regional identities and cultures. The film also resonated with many viewers who related to its themes and messages.
The Role of Balašević as a Singer, Writer, and Director
Balašević used his talents and popularity to create a personal and unique film that reflected his life and work. Balašević was already a well-known and respected singer and songwriter who had a loyal fan base in Serbia and the former Yugoslavia. He had also written several books of poetry, prose, and essays that showed his literary skills. He decided to make his directorial debut with this film that was based on his own song and book-scenario. He also composed the music, wrote the dialogues, and played a cameo role in the film. He involved his family members in the production of the film: his wife Olivera played Ana's mother, his daughter Jovana played Ana, his son Aleksa played Nikola's friend, his brother Slobodan played Ana's father, his nephew Marko played Nikola, his niece Danica played Nikola's sister, his cousin Danijel played Vasa, his uncle Rade played old Vasa, etc. He also collaborated with some of his friends and colleagues who were actors, musicians, or technicians. He made the film as a passion project that he financed himself and distributed independently.
The Symbolism and Meaning of Kao rani mraz
The film explores the topics of love, fate, memory, identity, and art through the story of Vasa and Ana. The film shows how their love was pure, innocent, and passionate, but also doomed, tragic, and painful. The film suggests that their love was affected by their fate, which was determined by their social, ethnic, and political circumstances. The film implies that their love was preserved in their memory, which was shaped by their nostalgia, imagination, and emotions. The film indicates that their love was part of their identity, which was influenced by their culture, language, and history. The film reveals that their love was expressed through their art, which was inspired by their talent, creativity, and passion.
The Comparison and Contrast with Other Films
The film relates to other Serbian or Balkan films, or films with similar genres or themes. Some of them are:
Montevideo: Taste of a Dream (2010)A historical drama about a group of young men from Novi Sad who play football for Yugoslavia in the 1930 World Cup.The film focuses on sports rather than music, and has a more optimistic tone than Kao rani mraz.
When Father Was Away on Business (1985)A comedy-drama about a boy who grows up in Sarajevo during the 1950s under Tito's regime.The film deals with more political issues than Kao rani mraz, and has a more humorous style than Kao rani mraz.
Before Sunrise (1995)A romantic drama about an American man and a French woman who meet on a train in Europe and spend one night together in Vienna.The film is set in a contemporary rather than historical context, and has more dialogue than Kao rani mraz.
Titanic (1997)A romantic epic about an upper-class woman and a lower-class man who fall in love on board the Titanic during its maiden voyage.The film has a much higher budget and production quality than Kao rani mraz, and has more action than Kao rani mraz.
and has a different musical style than Kao rani mraz.
Kao rani mraz is a film that can be enjoyed by anyone who likes romantic and nostalgic stories, but especially by those who appreciate Balašević's music and lyrics. The film is a personal and artistic expression of Balašević's vision and feelings, as well as a tribute to Vojvodina's culture and history. The film has its flaws and limitations, but also its charms and strengths. The film is a story of love, fate, memory, identity, and art that can touch the hearts and minds of the viewers.
Q: Where can I watch Kao rani mraz?
A: You can watch Kao rani mraz on YouTube, where it is available for free with English subtitles. You can also buy or rent the DVD from online platforms such as Amazon or eBay.
Q: Is Kao rani mraz based on a true story?
A: Kao rani mraz is based on a fictional story that was inspired by Balašević's song "Priča o Vasi Ladačkom". However, some of the characters and events in the film are based on real people and situations that Balašević knew or experienced.
Q: What awards did Kao rani mraz win?
A: Kao rani mraz did not win any major awards, but it was nominated for several awards at various film festivals. For example, it was nominated for Best Film at the 2010 FEST International Film Festival in Belgrade, and for Best Music at the 2010 Golden Arena Awards in Pula.
Q: What does the title Kao rani mraz mean?
A: The title Kao rani mraz means "Like early frost" in Serbian. It refers to the band name of Vasa and his friends, as well as to the metaphor of their love that was beautiful but fragile and short-lived.
Q: Who is Đorđe Balašević?
A: Đorđe Balašević is one of the most popular and respected singers and songwriters in Serbia and the former Yugoslavia. He has released 14 studio albums and written several books of poetry, prose, and essays. He is known for his poetic and emotional lyrics that often deal with love, nostalgia, politics, and social issues. He is also the director, writer, and composer of Kao rani mraz.