What does the inside of a person’s mind look like?
Stars: Sandi Pavlin, Silva Cusin, Boris Cavazza, Barbara Cerar, Mojca Funki and Safet Mujcic
Director/Scriptwriter: Miroslav Mandic
Composer: Darko Rundek
Cinematographer: Peter Zeitlinger
Filmostovji/Incipit Film/Film Movement Plus
Rating: no rating but could be PG 13
Running Length: 1 hour 30 minutes
What does the inside of a person’s mind look like? In his film, “Sanremo”, director Miroslav Mandic uses music and cinematography, both color and grey and black and white, to show what is going on. “Going on” meaning someone sliding into dementia. With the combination of acting, scenery, light and music, the audience can grasp the story just as the main character, Bruno (Sandi Pavlin) is trying to grasp on to reality. It is indeed, a slippery slope.
“Sanremo” begins with a foggy day. An older man is trying to borrow a bicycle from a girl. He explains that he must get home to feed his dog, “Rexy,”. The girl relents and he bikes to a farm house, but no one is there. Someone then comes to get the man and we realize the man is confused, lost, and probably has done this before. Then, it is daylight and we see a group of people exercising in a room and that this is a place for patients with mind problems. One of which, is a lady obsessed with water, who likes to watch the lawn sprinkler at work. Eventually, Bruno and the water lady, Dusa (Silva Cusin) are seated at the same table for afternoon tea and become friends. Things they remember are unusual, such as precisely buttering a roll for tea, but forgetting a name. They “meet” each other anew each day because memory is really a problem. Dusa is a songster and once won a singing contest. She likes to dance, and Bruno manages somehow. As the story continues, Bruno’s’ daughter comes and we learn about his background and how long he has been in this place. What is his future? What of Dusa’s future? Is there more sunshine ahead with mind clarity, or mist and memory lapses. Time has trapped the people in this place and the hourglass sands are running down.
Bruno is an active man and this gives the actor a chance to wander through a town or a forest and gives the audience opportunity to see what he sees and what he misses. The forest scenes are the best, with tall trees, small animals, and the sounds of nature. Does the mind comprehend this, though, or is it all frightening? The mind is a curious thing. Stop and listen to a bird but miss the flowers at your feet. Eventually, there are things happening in the film that affect the characters and how they deal with situations. Exasperation or humor or gentleness, each person meets a situation with their own style. If you ever had a loved one in a memory facility, you will recognize treatment, and if you haven’t, this is a prologue of what is to come. The actors portray their characters well, and Sandi Pavlin’s “Bruno” is a man with determination, strength to walk and the ability to portray loneliness in his mind with gestures and facial expression. The same for Silva Cusin’s “Dusa,” who is tidy, precise and yet sees all, though sometimes in a shadow.
“Sanremo” is a quiet film, almost meditative in structure, with visual scenes portraying the closing of the mind in a gradual sense. It is both beautiful and frightening at the same time. When one is lost, either physically or in the mind, can anyone really reach them? Are the chasm’s crossable or an end? Decisions are difficult to make.
Copyright 2022 Marie Asner