The Cleveland International Film Festival promotes artistically and culturally significant film arts through education and exhibition to enrich the life of the community.
Run Time: 110 minutes
Remember the classic, partially-filmed-in-Cleveland "A Christmas Story," in which the boy hero pined for a Red Rider BB gun air rifle for the duration? Meet Egon Vittori, age 13 in Tito's Yugoslavia of 1973, and his heart's desire takes the form of a record player on sale at the proletarian appliance store. It's more than just a whim; obtaining the device symbolizes personal growth and transformation for the undernourished young Egon, a Harry-Potter-look-alike misfit, miserably dominated at his fatherless home by two very different generations of dysfunctional women. One is a zealously-religious grandmother, for whom devils and angels lurk everywhere (of course, she steadfastly forbids music). The other is his mother, a notorious neighborhood oddball; Mrs. Vittori is a glamorous but emotionally-unstable drama queen, obsessed with the idea of filial betrayal. She idolizes the Perfect Son as embodied by a popular boy singer named Heintje, and identifies much too closely with Lana Turner in "Madame X" whenever the torrid Hollywood soap opera plays the local cinema. Egon's friendships with Fric, the projectionist's rebel son, and Roman, the upstairs hippie, lead him toward new horizons, but that record player remains stubbornly elusive. Working from an autobiographical screenplay by novelist Miha Mazzini, director Sasa Podgorsek has crafted one of the most bittersweet tales of an Eastern European boyhood since "Tito and Me" (17th CIFF, 1992). (In Slovenian with English subtitles)
Janko Mandic, Veronika Drolc, Iva Zupancic, Josef Nadj, Gregor Bakovic
Slovenian Film Fund
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