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THE END OF THE WORLD

DIRECTOR’S STATEMENT
long version

The End of the World is a story about finding and fighting for your own freedom.
There is a saying that “home” is not a place we make, but always a place that our
parents build for us. The question arises whether the freedom is also ours if it is
built by others or we have to find or build it ourselves to actually be free.

The protagonists are facing modern times that make it really hard to actually
escape the civilization. They are pushed in a pat position where they have to
reinvent the freedom on their own terms. Each of them has to find something
that is not inherited and adapt to new circumstances. Concerning that all
protagonists are women who were dependent on their husbands, fathers, closest
family and others in different ways, their conquering of freedom will ask for a
final emancipation. One’s disappointment in humanity is an additional motive
forged in a pre-story of the film and inherited in a character of Seka, the oldest
descendant of the isolated family. This theme is a foundation for something that
should be a “fair play” battle between nature and civilization which is one of the
main conflicts of this drama.

Lightness of the end of the world. Though dealing with a serious subject, the
atmosphere of the film will tend to be very light. Mise en scene and acting
performance will reflect the easiness of the life in nature. Long shoots, close by
soundscapes, the joy of sun and water, slightly annoying sound of insects,
characters throwing lines at each other while still looking at the sun. Only when
the regatta day comes we’ll find the disturbance in these routines. The characters
will become edgier, contrast with shadows stronger, camera and editing more
active and dynamic.

Genre of this film is drama with elements of comedy. Seka, who will at first fight
against but then repeat her father’s deed of killing in order to protect the
innocent, is the key dramatic persona of the film. Her solo scenes will not only
carry “heavier” atmosphere, but will be treated as a kind of poetic journey into
exploring oneself. Her biggest and strongest connection to humanity was made
though her father’s books and poems and though she hates other people coming
into her space, she loves poetry and its emotional affect. She is unpolished, the
roughest of all characters, but also the one with the most poetry in her. Alongside
drama is coming of age story for two youngest protagonists Lola and Ruzica who
crave for independence, but they are still not sure what to do with it once it
arrives. On the other hand, Aleksandra Urosevic’s word plays of characters that
are “trapping” each other and showing the absurdity of one’s believes are the
core element of comedy. The dialog is witty, fast and funny, delivered with the
“only for family members” pack of irony. They do love each other but they also
live out of picking each other’s guts every day. Characters’ inexperience in dealing
with the outside world and problems when they get in trouble is additional
blocking and situation comedy potential.
The family. Production and prop design will be mostly hand made. The family
has been living here for decades and they’ve been adapting themselves to
constant recycling and reusing. This will not only impose original set design, but
also a good direction to have family working together on different tasks and
practically show how they use the water stream, the sun and wind energy to
create their mechanical machines and tools to make their life easier or more fun.
Bear in mind that this is not a super hard working family; they produce only as
much as they need and love to spend the rest of their time hanging around with
each other, reading, swimming and chatting. The belated father was an anarchist,
precisely anarcho-primitivist but he was also a professor who made significant
mark on his descendants. Bottom line of the design aspect is that
family/togetherness is the essence of this place. Beach chairs, beds and
hammocks are built for and always used by more than one person, meaning that
even if they fight they still sit next to each other. They are tactile, helpful and
supportive. They did run away from everybody, but just so they could be closer to
each other. Later in the film, they will have to step away from that togetherness to
find out what is the essential need of each of them. Physical closeness means
intimacy but it also creates psychological and spatial pressure for action when
the self-discovery time comes.

Characters’ journey and focus on reactions. The directorial question that I wish
to raise with this picture is: Is there a freedom that doesn’t affect someone else’s
freedom? Can we be free without hurting the ones we love? That’s why the main
focus, especially in the dialog sections will be on the reactions and reflections on
stated issues between the family members. Ana has a secret agenda to help
herself and her daughter Lola go back to the “real world”. Eva feels bad (though
she is too strong to show it), about her offspring, cause her and her now belated
husband brought them and raised them with the idea which is now collapsing.
Her oldest Seka has a certain amount of jealousy towards city-girl Ana (again
never openly shown), because unlike Seka, Ana did live/experience something
different than this wild surrounding. Lidija is blaming herself for what she thinks
is her regression- going back home defeated by the outside world. Ruzica is shy
and has a need for a role model different than her Mom, while Lola who guides
her through this escape needs a partner in crime. Their joint actions and help of
each other’s presence will make them all realize that their goals were the
opposite of what they wished for. Lola and Ruzica will find pain in their freedom,
Ana and Lidija will decide to embrace their independent selves and stay, as Seka
will leave her safe grounds to try breaking her father’s haunting pattern
somewhere else in the world. So- can we be and feel free without affecting our
closest ones? By guiding subtle reactions of the family I will try to construct the
atmosphere that every wish for change or simply happiness- activates anxiety,
fear and passive aggression in others, not because of the lack of love in the family,
on the contrary- because those wishes were not what we held to be the best for
the ones we love so much.

Framing and lenses. The opening of the film will tend to use wide angled lenses,
but “closing” the edges of the shoot with close by scenery to create an
atmosphere of ever present nature that no wide shoot can contain. As the film
progresses those kind of shoots will leave more and more space between
characters and nature and losing the nature in front plane, stressing the
atmosphere of vulnerable exposure that both characters and the their home are
going through. What once stood for coziness in the center of the frame, towards
the end of the film it will be read as loneliness merely by losing edge elements in
the front plane. When needed, togetherness of the family will be shown by
multiple planes of actors in the same shoot with long depth of field allowing
actors and the blocking to pull the focus and attention of the audience.

Music, poetry and soundscapes are very important aspects of this feature.
What starts as a light theme, will develop into the soundscapes/music with the
feeling of the inevitable doom. Imagine the atmosphere in Jack Bruce’s Weird of
Hermiston (“Trees are no longer a comfort..”) joining the poetry of Saramago’s
novel “Cave” where the characters are full of warmth as they seem unhappily
found in the world they can’t change. But that world is rapidly changing them.

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