Authentic Anxiety

author Hana Jušić
interviewed by Ivan Ramljak


Interviewed in Zagreb on 29 November 2016


It has recently become clear to the audiences as well that the Croatian feature film, after a long agony, has managed to come out of the unwatchable mud of the 1990s. They have finally managed to forget Fergismajniht / Don’t Forget Me and Vrijeme za / Time for, and again started to pay attention to what is being filmed here. While professional cynics have explained the regular inclusion of films with war and post-war themes in the main programs of large film festivals (Zvizdan / The High Sun, S one strane / On the Other Side, Kokoška / The Chicken, Belladonna, Piknik / The Picnic) in recent years with a thesis that Croatian film, in order to become more marketable, has wisely decided to become Bosnian, there have been no dissonant tones about one author and her short films. In her mostly student films, Hana Jušić managed to create completely special, own worlds, without regard to how the West would like to see us. Her films were dominated by an atmosphere of domestic or, generally, interpersonal anxiety, along with, in our conditions, rare level of attention to the visual style. Her feature-length debut, a family drama with elements of black comedy, Ne gledaj mi u pijat / Quit Staring at My Plate, was thus expected as perhaps the first genuine example of what the new Croatian film should be. And it lived up to expectations!


ORIS — The international premiere of the film Ne gledaj mi u pijat (Quit Staring at My Plate) in Venice and the one in Croatia at the Zagreb Film Festival (zff) have passed, and cinema distribution has started. Do you feel some relief after the film has gone into the world and is well received?


Hana Jušić — Actually, nothing that was happening felt real. It was only after the premiere at the zff, despite the fact that some people did not like the film, and yet some did, that I realized that I personally felt a lot more relaxed, and that, for the last three months, I was actually in a constant spasm. Since I am usually not in touch with my emotions very often, I was not able to figure out that spasm. The important thing is that I do not have to go through what people will think of the film anymore now that the film is out.