This hybrid film takes us on a journey into a world without men, where women choose the image that will represent them after they die. Through a participatory process, the author silently questions: How does it feel to have a family tree consisting only of women? What do our ancestress whisper from their silent portraits? The rhythm of a tending ritual takes us further into the underworld to bring together the living and the dead, connecting the present and the past.

Director's Statement

I grew up in a family consisting only of female members. Men gradually disappeared, mostly as sailor at the sea, some escaped, and some died young. So that's how I got to grow up in a defiant world without men.

There is the tradition on my island on the Northern Adriatic that women decide while alive which photo will represent them on their grave after they die. A visual that the family will be obliged to look at as long as they live – often a portrait that will silently support us or judge us for the rest of our own days. To me, this always represented the ultimate act of defiance and strength, staying in control even when you’re no longer there.

After my beloved grandmother Valerija died, I became obsessed with those visuals, the rhythm of their narratives, and island rituals that connect us to our female roots.

With Valerija as a conceptual lead, I'm telling the story of all my women, the hard lives they had and the generational guilt that came along with enormous strength, both of it inherited and passed on for generations.

Living with a strong rhythm embedded in all of them, the film leaves it to the tactility and skin to narrate the story. Feeling the memories of learning from Valerija and playing with the idea of the traditional gender tasks, knowing that all my women had to cover for all the possible roles alone.

Seemingly banal, a simple ritual takes us on a layered journey. Narrowing the visual field until it brings us to intimate places within ourselves. Opposing the hard, solid stone facades that helped my ancestress survive their hard lives, we slowly shift to the inner soft parts, well-hidden deep inside all of them – a contrast that is the core of all my defiant women.

Focusing on showing a world scarce of words and "living by doing“, I’m letting their narratives go through me, while my body acts as a white canvas. Through this participatory process, I'm consciously eliminating the distance between myself and all those women who are gone, giving them space within myself, and generating our intimate encounter.

Cast & Crew

Directed by: Sara Jurinčić

Written by: Sara Jurinčić

Produced by: Vanja Jambrović, Sara Jurinčić

Cinematography: Ivan Spličević

Editing: Tomislav Stojanović

Original Score: Jens Christian Bo Johansen

Sound: Jens Christian Bo Johansen, Borna Buljević

Visual Effects: Sandrino Požežanec

Animation: Sara Jurinčić

Cast: Sara Jurinčić, Lidija Fabulić-Jurinčić

Nominations and Awards

  • Short Film Candidates 2024