The Family with Druzina: Spotlight on Rok Biček’s Progressive Portraiture
Location la: Bartos Screening Room
Dir. Rok Biček. Slovenia/Austria. 2007/2017. Total runtime: 142 mins. In Slovenian with English subtitles. Starting with Druzina (2007, 36 mins), a film shot when the director was in film school, and continuing with the feature The Family (2017, 106 mins) Slovenian filmmaker Rok Biček followed the members of the Rajk family for over ten years. We meet Matej at age 14, as a young man living in a small Slovenian village who is isolated from his peers and struggling to manage as the only member of his family not living with special needs or intellectual disabilities. Eager to break free, first he pursues internet entrepreneurship, then becomes a father himself at 20. But the past, and the ways that it shaped him, prove hard to escape.
“Slovenian director Rok Biček started The Family as a film-school student and proceeded to film a life in full: a boy, Matej, seen growing up, watching his father die and becoming a father himself, breaking up with his girlfriend, and battling her for child custody. A twist on observational cinema, Biček’s portrait of the anti-heroic young man defies stereotypes of working-class and dysfunctional families, refrains from passing moral judgments, and retains an open fondness of his subject.” —Tina Poglajen, Film Comment (The Family previously screened at Film Comment Selects 2018)
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