O JEDNOJ MLADOSTI ONCE UPON A YOUTH
"Maybe this is that movie where he should have been behind the camera and I should have directed." With these words Ivan Ramljak concludes his cinematic tribute to his friend Marko. They spent their youth together in Zagreb in the noughties – a period of change in a country struggling with the aftermath of a war that had just ended. Marko seems like the personification of a generation in cultural upheaval: a young man hungry to experience the world, practically bursting with creativity. As a DJ, photographer and video artist, he took an active role in shaping the emerging underground scene in his hometown. Alas, he was also haunted by inner demons: he would ultimately die of a heroin overdose in his mid-20s. Marko's final years on this planet are retraced through the recollections of his close friends and relatives. By combining these stories with private film footage and photographs of the deceased, Ramljak takes great pains to capture the special aura his friend possessed. The result is a portrait of an artist, lover and enigma – but at the same time also a subtle portrait of Zagreb of the late '90s, of a generation of young Croatians, one that leaves behind a lingering, intermingled feeling of melancholy and hope.
Born in 1974, Ramljak works as a film critic, director and independent curator. His works have been shown at diverse international film festivals. His short documentary film ISLANDS OF FORGOTTEN CINEMAS won the FIPRESCI Award for Best Documentary Film at goEast in 2016.
2009 // LIBERATION IN 26 PICTURES / OSLOBOĐENJE U 26 SLIKA
2016 // ISLANDS OF FORGOTTEN CINEMAS / KINO OTOK
2018 // HOME OF THE RESISTANCE / DOM BORACA
2020 // ONCE UPON A YOUTH / O JEDNOJ MLADOSTI
78 min, DCP, colour+b/w
OV with German and English Subs
Croatian Audiovisual Centre
Zagreb Academy of Dramatic Arts