FunAstrology"Appearances are deceptive": funny, imaginative, full of thought

"Appearances are deceptive": funny, imaginative, full of thought

What Makes measly men powerful? The Serbian author and director Srđan Dragojević gives a clear answer to the question: malevolence in his entertaining satire.

Berlin – It starts like a crazy dream: War refugee Stojan from Serbia is given a halo in the washroom of the slum on the outskirts of Belgrade, where he lived with his wife and daughter in 1993. A circle of light suddenly shines around his head, unmistakably.

Stojan wants to get rid of the phenomenon. According to one priest, it helps if he commits all of the deadly sins. But whether gluttony or adultery: nothing works. But the more repulsive Stojan behaves, the higher he rises in society.

In three episodes, director Srđan Dragojević deals with Stojan, his family and some of his acquaintances with satirical sharpness and with tragic-gloomy humor, on the one hand, with the abuse and decline of Christian values vaunted for thousands of years.

On the other hand, it effectively exposes the methods of unscrupulous politicians who seize their power with criminal energy and tie it down. In Stojan (Goran Navojec) you can discover some of the mighty of our days.

The three stories, which often seem surreal, will extend into the near future. One of the stories illuminates the seductive power of images. In some strong scenes, the film turns into a gloomy analysis of today’s conditions in the so-called western world. It becomes clear how enormous the danger is that large groups of people can be easily manipulated if they are tricked into mistrusting the basic values of democracy.

The excellent acting ensemble and a virtuoso imagery shape the film significantly. Many moments inspire with an almost eccentric love of tales, others with coarse humor and some with beneficial wisdom.

As in his world success “Parada”, which won several awards at the Berlinale and other festivals in 2012, the Serbian director Srđan Dragojević refrains from any ostensible moralizing. He relies on suspense and wit and overflowing imagination. It’s as entertaining as it is thought-provoking.

Der Schein trügt, Serbia, Germany, Northern Macedonia, Montenegro, Slovenia 2021, 122 Min., FSK from 16, by Srđan Dragojević, with Goran Navojec, Ksenija Marinković, Bojan Navojec dpa

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