More than two decades have passed since the beginning of the war in Yugoslavia. There are still many interpretations of that bleak past as whole countries were affected. Disputes between different nations thrown into the mass conflict continue to this day. Many films about this tragic war have been shot; the newest one, Men Don’t Cry, shows the Yugoslavian conflict from an unexpected point of view.
The 2017 drama Men Don’t Cry is a feature debut of Bosnian director Alan Drljević. He has been focusing on the Yugoslavian conflict for several years, working as an assistant director on the films Grbavica and On the Path by Jasmila Źbanić. His first feature-length documentary Carnival depicts the dramatic events of the 1990s as well.
The main protagonists of Men Don’t Cry are war veterans from different corners of the former Yugoslavia. They arrive at an off-season hotel in the mountains for an experimental group-therapy. It is clear that harmony is not to be expected. The “coach” of the group named Ivan is trying to help the veterans to overcome the war tragedy and to seek understanding of each other. But the men of different nations and religions are still convinced about the innocence of their respective countries and about the guilt of their neighbors. There is no doubt that a single word or mean look can ignite fire in such an explosive set-up.
The film brilliantly and dramatically reveals a complex fusion of ethnic strifes, everyday problems, and even issues of aging and masculinity. It shows that the veterans are not able to admit their mistakes until their “old enemies” admit theirs.
Finally, for those who are keen on “good endings”, the film brings the satisfaction of the men indeed crying, trying to forgive each other, and benefiting from the therapy. Some of them anyway.
Text vznikl v rámci kurzu Angličtina pro žurnalisty pod vedením Mgr. Aleny Proškové.