Lovers and Madmen
Screener avaliable upon request
Year of production: 2012
Duration: 83
Picture format: 16:9
Lovers and Madmen, (based on a book of memoirs by the same title), is a documentary film about the life of Zvonko and Julienne Busic, which was broadcast on Croatian State Television on March 9, 2013. The facts are straightforward: in 1976, the Busics, along with three other Croatians, hijacked a TWA airliner with the sole goal of forcing major world media to publish a leaflet on the human rights abuses against Croatians and others in the former Yugoslav dictatorship: murders, assassinations, imprisonment of students and intellectuals... But although this is a documentary film, after the first few scenes the viewer loses himself in the story, which develops into a gripping drama, a political thriller, a Greek tragedy, and a tale of enduring love and friendship, as Zvonko and Julienne are separated in different prisons, both with life sentences. The director, Ljiljana Bunjevac Filipovic, guides the film with a gentle female touch, coaxing from every scene a story that thaws even the most hardened hearts. The film can be viewed on two levels: the human and the national-political. Masterfully balancing the two, the director succeeds in creating a work that functions perfectly on both, in a unified artistic harmony. What is especially worth mentioning is the skillful story-telling, which frees the film from documentary "ballast", ideological or otherwise. It is therefore not a purely "Croatian", but a universal, story with which everyone can identify.