Festival du Nouveau Cinéma 2021: Our Review of ‘Celts’

Posted in Festival Coverage, Movies by - October 22, 2021
Festival du Nouveau Cinéma 2021: Our Review of ‘Celts’

One of the rules that most people break in parties and work is the ‘no politics’ rule. That and no sex and no religion rules. Celts depicts how its characters gloriously break those rules, as Majka (Dubravka Kovjanic) tries to organize a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles party for her daughter Minja (Katarina Dimic), and eventually, the kids gather in the living room and the adults organize themselves in the kitchen. But this isn’t any ordinary kitchen, it is one existing in Serbia during the Winter of 1993. And Majka’s brother Ujak (Nikola Rakocevic) just had to bring something up. To him, it’s Serbia’s fault that they’re at the receiving end of sanctions. Meanwhile, his friend Anka (Milica Grijicic) sees things conservatively. One of Minja’s friends Tanja (Jovana Gavrilovic) blames the Germans for everything. It speaks to co-writer and director Milica Tomovic’s skill that these scene de-escalate and that’s somehow organic.

It seems logical for Celts to raise its tensions but this one diffuses most of them, making way for vulnerable revelations like the one that Majka’s husband Otac (Stefan Trifunovic) makes to Ujak make about the former’s marriage. The biggest nitpick I have here is how it prioritizes the personal over the political. Although in fairness, the pettiness in putting personal matters can be just as off putting. Political films can be didactic. The film, by the way, has tendencies for both. Anyway, it’s also strange that I’m preferring the latter even if the former seems more logical and relatable. Which this film mostly is, fortunately enough. It’s also the most progressive depiction of people East of Berlin than I’ve seen in recent memory, if at all. And lastly, there’s a sex scene here that is shocking even to my standards. Finally, a film I find refreshingly shocking.

Buy tickets to Celts here.

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While Paolo Kagaoan is not taking long walks in shrubbed areas, he occasionally watch movies and write about them. His credentials are as follows: he has a double major in English and Art History. This means that, for example, he will gush at the art direction in the Amityville house and will want to live there, which is a terrible idea because that house has ghosts. Follow him @paolokagaoan on Instagram but not while you're working.
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