Petra and Kika are two best friends. Petra has remained in the small Balkan city of Zagreb. Kika has gone tothe large modern city of Berlin. Petra is getting divorced in Zagreb, and Kika arrives from Berlin to console her. Both of them are thirty-six and this is a story about them and about their age. They decide to be young once again and to make up, in one night, for everything their lives have taken away from them over all these years. Kika, a cosmopolitan party girl, teaches Petra, a fresh divorcee, how to carry on with her life without a husband and a family. In Zagreb, this is not an easy task at all. The city is small and the environment is conservative. Still, Petra has to break free from her chains. Kika has taken the responsibility for that mission.
The two go to a night club they used to frequent and meet two boys who are much younger than them. Their age is certainly not their ally, but the girls nevertheless refuse to give up. They take the two home in order to have some sex. However, neither of them is successful in that effort. During the night, Petra tries to throw off her world-view of a woman who must be a mother and housewife for her family. She tries to break
away from the world-view that was imposed on her by her environment. Kika pushes her to carry on and try to be independent. However, even a cosmopolitan girl like Kika has her own chains. These chains are deep inside her. While being independent and living in a much more liberal environment, Kika is not happy either and that’s because she is alone. In fact, their heaviest chain is the fear of loneliness felt by women in their
mid-thirties. By the end of the story, they begin to acknowledge that fact and begin to carry the burden of their solitude with dignity. The story ends with an early breakfast which stirs hope for the two friends in their mid-thirties.
“I find the story interesting because I am a woman in her thirties. I live on the edge of Europe (Croatia) in a conservative environment which sometimes won’t let me breathe. As a post-communist country that has emerged from a war, people are burdened with the past and with their customs.” Says director Vanja Sviličić.
“All that burden is also carried by my central characters. Petra is financially independent. However, financial bonds are not the only ones that impede us from being happy. Can a woman at the age of thirty-six, without a husband and family, be happy? I think she can, if she believes in herself.”
“Petra tries to break out from all of these constraints. Her best friend Kika has managed to escape and tries hard to live a different life. The two meet to assemble the fragments of their lives and realize how much the environment in which they live has limited their world-views. The relationship between the two is the driving force behind the film.”
“As in any friendship, what we are dealing with here is hidden competition: which one is better, which one is prettier, which one will catch the better looking boy. For that reason, the subtext is what really matters, that is, not what they say out loud, but what they keep to themselves. Accordingly, the film will focus on the two actresses and their subtle and concealed feelings which I shall endeavour to capture with the camera.”
“The two girls are in search of happiness. And we will root for them to find that happiness by the end of the story.”
Vanja Sviličić (née Juranić) was born in Zagreb, Croatia. She completed secondary school in the United States and graduated at the University of Zagreb, Faculty of Textile and Design. Na trgu (On The Square, 2007), a documentary written and directed by Vanja Sviličić for a global project as part of the Berlinale Talent Campus, an international workshop dedicated to the topic “What Is Democracy?“, was selected as one of the ten films included in the international selection “New Talents”. The film was produced by STEPS International and ZDF Arte. The film premiered at the Berlinale (2008), after which it was shown at various international film festivals and on European public television channels. Sviličić’s screenplay for the short feature film Vidimo se u Sarajevu (See You in Sarajevo, 2008) was selected as one of the five screenplays from South-east Europe at the competition “Sarajevo City of Film”. It was shown at various international film festivals. Jesam li sretna? (Am I Happy or What?, 2011), her first full-length documentary, premiered at ZagrebDox, where it won Special Mention, after which it was screened at different international European festivals. Vanja Sviličić has participated in a series of film workshops and lectures with a view to her professional development. Zagreb Cappuccino is her first feature film. See you in Sarajevo, short fiction Am I Happy or What?, full length documentary On The Square, short documentary Look at me, short documentary Sun Mei, short documentary