Through the voice of Little Jela, the film tells the story of the events that marked a generation and shaped the future of the landscape of Lika, a neglected and sparsely populated region of Croatia. The living conditions impacted on the personal lives of the people who lived there, their solitude, relationships, opportunities, apprehensions and hopes. Little Jela embodies several members of my own family which is predominantly composed of women – mothers, grandmothers, sisters and aunts.

Director's Statement

The film was shot on location in Lika, a neglected and sparsely populated region of Croatia. It was heavily affected during World War II. The population was poor and the land was barren. Potatoes were the main food. Children went to school, worked the fields and minded the livestock. Most of the generation born in the 1940s moved to the cities or abroad. One of the micro-locations is Kosinj Valley, where the construction of a reservoir, a hydroelectric power plant, and three dams on the Lika River will completely submerge two villages that are still populated. To create the lake, 75 thousand tons of cement will be injected into the landscape. Through observing the landscape and models of cohabitation between living and non-living entities, I examine the ways in which memories are built, how narratives are created and how they disappear, how new elements are implemented, both in memory and in the landscape. I explore lichen and their immobility, time and perseverance, quarries as sources, processes of fragmentation, dismantling and transformation as open possibilities applicable to film techniques. I perceive the time of the forest, the quarries, and lichen, as a slow shift, an invisible movement in the landscape, like the movement of living beings and microorganisms. Using cinematic layering, triple exposures, family archives and combinations of photographs and videos, I overlap textures of events, characteristics and sedimentations of memories. I explore the ways in which political, economic, ecological and cultural circumstances impact the openness of the narrative, of the people, and of other beings.

Cast & Crew

Directed by: Ana Hušman

Written by: Ana Hušman

Produced by: Ana Hušman

Cinematography: Ivan Slipčević

Editing: Iva Kraljević

Production Design: Ana Labudović

Original Score: Ivan Zelić

Sound: Ivna Jurković, Ivan Zelić

Nominations and Awards

  • Short Film Candidates 2024