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Reviewing Slovenka (Slovenian Girl)

by Jared Feldschreiber 

A bit brutal, a bit familiar and also even sly in the various twists and turns it takes, Slovenian Girl find itself in its own genre. It's something renowned Polish director Krzystof Kieslowski would be proud of it, since it incorporates female interiority to a protagonist who is both a liar and an empathic rustic student trying to get by in a big city.

The story of a call girl by night and sweet and demure country-girl by day suggests that first glances with someone are not always as they appear. The pace of the film is relaxed in tone; those familiar with Kieslowski’s Trois Colours series will see stark resemblances to Nina Ivanisin’s Aleksandra to the female protagonists in Red, White and Blue (actresses Juliette Binoche, Irene Jacob and Julie Delpy respectively) since the camera never veers away from her. It is her story, alone; she teases the audience as much as her clients, but her sadness to the weirdness of her profession is palpable, and most fittingly, the film begins with many extras staring at her.

Sasha also carries a secret throughout that only the audience knows, and soon will the other players. She is known as the ’Slovenian girl” to her clients, but her home life she is Sasha, a pretty 23-year old college student from Krsko, a small Slovenian town. Her life in Ljublijana is much different. Throughout this moody film, we witness her world filled of Russian pimps, German diplomats as her clients and her loving father (and not so loving mother), woefully ignorant of her duplicitous life.

We also observe the nature of secondary characters that are not just merely human in their foibles, but oft-times unethical, and fully cognizant of what they can get away. The audience learns of their dark secrets, perhaps a metaphor of an overall mysterious backdrop. Perhaps most telling in the film is the universal motif of urban alienation.

This is Nina Ivanisin’s debut in film acting, and I am confident her name will be passed along to more mainstream fare for her natural beauty and tantalizing presence.




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