It’s a year 1986, Yugoslavia, a diligent metalworker Peter Zmazek, is living a modest but very fulfilling life. One day after being awarder at his job, overflown with emotions, he falls into a state of shock. He’s committed to a mental institution where he stays for 10 years, unaware of the happening outside. When he finally wakes up, a completely different, rather unappealing world is waiting for him. Yugoslavia exists no more, his wife got remarried with his best friend, and his job is not waiting for him anymore. While he’s dealing with his family life, he’s also realizing a disturbing truth, that a previous good values and habits, ceased to exist.
I say, at moments acting and script were a bit clumsy, especially when protagonist, Peter, wakes up. I found the family conflict to be unnecessary distraction, or at least, it would be better if Peter would found out how values of his family shifted in 10 years. For this to work out well, more time should have been dedicated to the pre-shock period — which was on my opinion superb, visually very well done, capturing a socialistic spirit wonderfully, and I truly enjoyed it.
The main topic of the movie, change of a politic/economic system is, I suppose, accurate enough. It’s simplified version of many sad stories which were told after Slovenia went its own way.
The movie conclude similarly to Goodbye Lenin, we indeed have more (to choose from) in a material sense, but is having three televisions and two cars, really so essential? Did we trade values for things? Well, perhaps I’m romanticizing too much.
Indeed all of us have material needs, those needs are in lower spectrum of a human nature; a developed civilization should fulfill them, but should afterward be gravitating and aspiring towards higher goals and values. Can a system which put material needs into the center, and as an end goal of human existence, be productive and sustainable?