Witnesses | Chicago Reader

Witnesses

Three Croatian soldiers on leave during the 90s Balkan conflict murder a rich Serb and kidnap his young daughter to keep her quiet. A local cop begins to unravel the mystery, but none of the embittered Croatian townspeople is particularly eager to see the death avenged. Adapted from Jurica Pavicic's novel Alabaster Sheep, this 2003 Croatian feature coolly explores the shifting morality of civil war, with most of the conflict unfolding inside the youngest soldier's traumatized family. Director Vinko Bresan clutters up the story with cinematic hommages—an introductory tracking shot of epic proportions (Touch of Evil), multiple versions of the same action (Rashomon)—but its power survives. In Serbo-Croatian with subtitles. 90 min.

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