“You Carry Me”, Ivona Juka's debut feature film, brings an important novelty into Croatian cinematography - ambitious, extensive narration.
The movie itself might have been a little shorter than it's 155 minutes, but not too much, as she has directed the movie in a way similar to this year's Oscar-winning director Alejandro Gonzáles Ińárritu and his former collaborator, screenwriter Guillermo Arriaga: the story follows the fate of several characters without any particular connection at first sight, but as the space and time perspective twists, the plot folds into a perfect and coherent entity.
In the beginning she presents her three protagonists: one teenage girl Dora (debut actress Helena Beljan), who adores her father Vedran (also a debutant, Goran Hajduković, former leader of the Dinamo fans), a tattooed macho type of man who's always in some kind of trouble; the director of the soap opera Ives, who also shares a deep connection with her father (Vojislav Brajović), but as he's stricken with dementia, he often gets lost and wanders through the streets; and Nataša (Nataša Dorčić), who's expecting a baby, and whose relationship with her father can be interpreted in various ways. Although Nataša and Ives work together on the soap opera, all three characters have their own stories and it's hard to notice at a glance how these stories are connected.
Skillfully directed, with scenes with sometimes up to twenty characters, and with the movie's visuals looking great (thanks to Norman Nisbeth, the famous European colorist), this film offers scenes you've never seen before. Juka also collaborated with Teho Teardo, the famous Italian musician who was in charge of composing the original score. With his soundtrack and Nisbeth's touch, „You Carry Me“seems like a foreign, rather than a local product.