Kukumi ("The Kukum")
Kosova movie directed by Isa Qosja
Luan Jaha (Kukum), Anisa Ismaili (Mara), Donat Qosja (Hasan), Yllka Gashi, Shkumbin Istrefi etc.
Regione del Veneto Award - Venice Film Festival (2005)
Special Jury Award - Sarajevo Film Festival (2005)
Special Jury Award - Sofia Film Festival (2006)
Story happens in the first days after NATO troops enter Kosova. After the signing of the military agreement in Kumanovo, in the house of the retarded, the guards and employees leave their places and flee. Inmates are all retarded but they have a special philosophy of life, they have their wishes and their dreams. Being free gives them a chance to make dreams come true, but they are confronted with a reality and environment, which in one way or another is very different. From the moment of getting out the fences, they are conflicted with people that call themselves free. Gradually this conflict roughens and with it degenerates the meaning of freedom. There are three main characters, Kukum, Mara and Hasan. [IMDB]
Soho, 14 October 2005
Uneventful, panoramic and killingly metaphoric
"Kukumi" is a Kosovar movie. Kosova is a country-wannabe struggling to retain its national identity. After a 20-year hiatus, Kosovar cinematography is the last thing that has been paid attention at, after the war. Therefore, I can conclude that "Kukumi" is one good movie with an excellent potential to be completely forgotten within a short period of time. The movie is intrinsically flawed both in scene chronology and subject relevance,while Kukumi (the main character), is an innocent victim of die-hard direction that takes advantage of the metaphoric approach to come up with unspoken messages. Madmen and women are unleashed of an asylum the day the war in Kosova ceases. Kukumi, Mara and another guy are split from the herd to embark into an exhausting, nerve-wrenching, 2-hour journey which aims at the railway station and ends to nowhere. Yes, nowhere, at all! Kukumi (Luan Jaha, who is quite convincing) seems to be the "brainiest" of the three with his insightful, quirky questions he raises and stories he narrates. Dialogue is meandering, events are incoherently combined and the cast is laden with unfilled gaps of character history and vaguely defined relationships. There is a scene where the madmen go to a village and after they mingle together for a while, a man comes out of a car with a huge set of sunglasses for sale. Remember: it is a village with less than 100 people, inhabited by traditionally-clothed elderly and children who spend their life grazing cows. And this guy offers them sunglasses in the very wake of war, in a time when they all had to be hundreds of miles away living as refugees and bracing for a massive comeback. This is such an incoherence and disloyalty to the reality like the one the movie takes place in, and, as such, it is utterly unwarrantable. However, Kukumi is beautiful all along. Breathtaking panoramas slide in between scenes and directorial absurdities. Albanian flag is seen several times. Extras look very unfitting to the scenes. A Chinese "investor" speaks to the cheering crowds that have mysteriously repopulated the village, which, as suggested by an incinerated school, should have had the same fate as other devastated and deserted villages all over Kosova. The movie was financed by the Ministry of Culture and several other sources, which speaks of the movie's being a mere step to open doors for the future of Kosovar cinematography towards the unpaved path of a once-prosperous industry. [IMDB]
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