S one strane

Croatia, Serbia


Vesna is a middle-aged woman who works as a visiting nurse in Zagreb. Twenty years ago, she lived in Sisak, a small Croatian industrial town she was forced to leave during the war, when a violent incident almost destroyed the life of her family. In the capital, she managed to hide her identity and start anew. Today her children are all grown up: her son Vladimir is a business man who now has a family of his own; her daughter Jadranka has just finished her studies – she cannot find a job, but hopes to work for a government agency. Jadranka is also getting ready for a wedding with a man who is considerably older than her.
One day Vesna gets an unexpected call from her husband Žarko, a man who left her on the eve of the war, after which he was sentenced for war crimes in Croatia and Bosnia. They haven't spoken nor heard from each other in more than two decades, but now he wants to reach out to her and to reconnect with his family.
Jadranka and Vladimir refuse any contact with their father, knowing that his past could bring back the stigma which they barely managed to escape not so long ago. At first, Vesna too tries to remain distant and cold, but after years of loneliness, something in her starts to break. But when the news about Žarko's release hits the media, Vesna's past starts to creep up on her much faster than she thought.

Director's Statement

The main protagonist of ON THE OTHER SIDE is a woman named Vesna. That fact highly influenced my approach to the film. This film is seen and experienced mostly from Vesna's point of view. In that sense, I tried to reduce to the minimum every form of pronouncedly director's (author's) point of view. Since this film is markedly psychological, but at the same time it has a powerful story, one of my tasks was to make sure it developed in both those directions. The psychological dimension was particularly delicate and important: how to transfer to the screen all subtle nuances of the characters and their relations in the most suggestive way? My first task was to „feel“ and recognize every flicker of emotion in every scene and record it in image and sound. While doing that, I tried to make scenes feel subjective, experienced from the viewpoint of the character who is central in a given scene. That did not necessarily mean that I relied upon subjective viewpoint alone, but that I reached for all cinematic means of expression which could create as subjective and as personal a „feel“ of the scene as possible.

Director's Biography

Born in 1958 in Virovitica (Croatia), Zrinko Ogresta works as a screenwriter and director and theaches as a professor of film directing at the Academy of Dramatic Arts in Zagreb. He graduated from the Academy of Dramatic Arts in Zagreb, Department for Film and TV Direction, in January 1982.
Praised for their strong visual style, well-articulated mise-en-scène and innovative storytelling, his films focus on the anxieties that lurk behind the well-cultivated bourgeois facade of the characters, using their emotional and psychological fractures to bring to light the complexes that haunt the society in general, while subtly analysing social and political forces behind it.

2003 - HERE
1999 - RED DUST

Cast & Crew

Directed by: Zrinko Ogresta

Written by: Mate Matišić, Zrinko Ogresta

Produced by: Lazar Ristovski, Ivan Maloca

Cinematography: Branko Linta

Editing: Tomislav Pavlic

Production Design: Tanja Lacko

Costume Design: Katarina Zaninović

Make-Up & Hair: Slavica Šnur

Original Score: Mate Matišić, Šimun Matišić

Sound Design: Martin Semenčić

Main Cast: Ksenija Marinković (Vesna), Lazar Ristovski

Nominations and Awards

  • Feature Film Selection 2016