Small village in mountains of Dalmatinska Zagora is under total control of Andrija, local Party official. One day two members of secret police come to the village and everybody knows they are going to arrest somebody, ...展开but nobody knows whom.
A very carefully composed film, with a message so austere, stark and frankly honest that it could only have been filmed in black and white. If you want to have a fun night out with some easy 'feel-good' entertainment, see another film.
Set in a remote Yugoslavian village in 1948, when Tito broke away from Stalinist orthodoxy, the film does not in any way involve itself with the ideological differences between these political tendencies, it shows only the inherent treacherousness of political relationships.
From the opening scene, which slowly pans across a harsh and barren mountain range, to the accompaniment of a mournful chant, and then turns to the summary arrest of a peasant, before moving to a wedding procession making its way through the hills, it becomes clear that one is in for a disturbing and painful film. But the brilliance of the film lies in the fact that it does not degenerate into a series of blood soaked cliches. Instead it develops an atmosphere of impending tragedy, where the guests have to pretend that they are enjoying themselves, while the celebration is actually taking place in the darkening shadows cast by the harbingers of impending misfortune. The story, scenery, the rhythmic dancing and the haunting sound-track complement each other exceptionally well in a complex film that has many pauses and silences for reflection.
The political situation, and the wedding celebration are used as allegories to expose the ugly core of power, and the base instincts of 'humanity', and not only in a political sense. When one considers the horrendous civil war that was to overcome this country several decades after it was made, this film sounds a chillingly prophetic note of warning, with a relevance that transcends this specific situation.
A wedding celebration of a peasant to a beautiful young girl is interrupted by two callous commissars. The top councilman is powerless to stop the duo who have been sent as representatives of Stalin. The two quietly bide their time as they watch the guests who are scheduled to be arrested for their political leanings. When the new bride cares for the injured councilman, he rapes her while the irate villagers hear the attack outside. Her husband rejects her when she is returned to him by the angry mob. The rapist is led off to jail and the bride is gunned down trying to escape.