THE WOUNDS (1997) [Feature]

Yugoslavia/France (MIFF 1999 , International Panorama)
Director: Srdjan Dragojevic

After completing his previous film, Pretty Village, Pretty Flame, director Srdjan Dragojevic vowed never to under­take another project dealing with the conflict in the former Yugoslavia. Thankfully, for MIFF audiences, Dragojevic was compelled by the true story of Pinki and Kraut, two under-aged criminals. The result is a film that is a harrow­ing and shocking reflection of a society lhat has been dev­astated by political, racial and moral upheaval, not to mention recently being—in the words of General Douglas MacArthur—bombed back to the stone-age.

Impressionable, bored teenagers, Pinki and Kraut are attracted to the flashy lifestyle of neighbourhood thug Crazy Dickie. With his voluptuous girlfriend, stolen and looted electrical goods, jewellery, abundant food, drink and drugs, Dickie is an obvious hero to kids with nothing. True to his name, Dickie is a psychotic goon who intro­duces the boys to crime and quick cash. Like most of the city they are glued to the weekly episodes of television show Asphalt Pulse. Hosted by the vampy mother of one of their school-chums, Pinki and Kraut (like every petty crim) hope to one day feature on the tabloid crime news show.

Childish larks and sexual initiations soon become outright brigandry and the lads are enmeshed in an ultra-violent world of unchecked appetites and emotions. Betrayal, debauchery and greed lead to a bullet-riddled conclusion of surreal images and unpredictable violence.

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