Echo ( Jeka) – review by Helga Paškvan

HRVATSKI

As a part of the STIFF’s  educational program Dean Durić held a workshop on  film review & criticism for 10 selected students. Throughout this week some of the best student film reviews will be published on our web.

“The ruthlessness is not caused by blows or mistreatment, but it is an expression of manly and brutal learning laced with testosterone. At the end of the film, the child breaks his barrier, a metal barbed wire, and achieves freedom. The barbed wire ends the film as a symbol of all the obstacles that he will encounter in life. …”

Written by: Helga Paškvan

Translation :Virna Car

This movie really got to me. From the very beginning, the roughness of nature reaches form the other side towards the audience – it flows from the screen maybe because of the liquid structure of nature, the camera in the water, the humidity outside.

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Jeka (Echo),Marcin Filipowicz; Poland,

The scene where the boy eats berries filmed in close-up really stuck with me; the author successfully poeticized each and every scene. These scenes are textured and accompanied with sound effects of untamed wilderness. This scene immediately suggested that this movie is about a father spending time with his son in the wilderness in order for the son to grow up, become brave and independent.

The initiation trip has two opposing characters, a grown man who is strict and rough all for the benefit of the kind, plump boy who would rather just stay at home. The lack of emotion creates a rift between the two characters, a rift boys with such disposition are very much accustomed to. This rift can be seen in the primordial water which does not connect them, but emphasizes its own ambivalent state – leaning towards the boy’s need for connection.

I was troubled whether the two characters are indeed father and son. The question is tackled when the boy asks the man if his mother was right when she said his father was always a jackass. This scene is followed by brutal dunking in which the buy must practice taking long, hard and fast breaths. The boy then attempts to ask another question referring to a man as  “dad”. We can assume that maybe this is not the man’s son and that he is angry because he has to take care of a somebody else’s child that was not properly raised. It is up to him to mend the mistakes and raise a child that is not a weakling so he is rough, ruthless and finally leaves the child to fend for himself. The ruthlessness is not caused by blows or mistreatment, but it is an expression of manly and brutal learning laced with testosterone. At the end of the film, the child breaks his barrier, a metal barbed wire, and achieves freedom. The barbed wire ends the film as a symbol of all the obstacles that he will encounter in life. This wiry material became his relationship with a grown man. An echo is an illusion of emptiness; the sounds of nature are its blade.

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