“The chaotic life of Nada Kadić” – sentimental movie with a unique transition

..."a melancholic movie showing Nada and Hava's interactions as a loving family, but with the constant reminder of Hava's condition."

We organised a film critic workshop for high school students in collaboration with Cinedays 2018 and Critical camp. This is one of the reviews written during the workshop.

“The chaotic life of Nada Kadić”, premiered February 19th 2018 is a Bosnian film directed by Marta Hernez with a run time of 85 min. It presents an everyday struggle of a single mother.

The story is set in the town of Sarajevo, where we meet Nada Kadic (Aida Hadžibegović-Đombić) and her daughter Hava. Struggling to accomplish the simple day-to-day tasks and trying to do a billion things at once, as well as dealing with her daughter’s autism diagnosis she decides that she needs a vacation, somewhere to go to clear her head. Taking her father’s old car along with Hava without a second thought she leaves her home and heads for her old hometown.

Taking into consideration that this film worked with a very small budget, it turned out somewhat successful. The unique thing about the movie was that a big portion of it was filmed in a documentary style, thus integrating a lack of acting and improvisation. Aida herself claimed that this movie was meant to give the feeling of raw realism having in mind how her daughter was completely herself in front of the camera and the countless interactions with by passers who were not professional actors. The visuals were quite aesthetically pleasing given the small budget. Another thing that the movie managed to do – it impressed me with the visualization of Hava’s point of view and those scenes felt as the best interaction with the audience.

From beginning to the end, the movie had a melancholy feeling to it by showing Nada and Hava’s interactions as a loving family, but with the constant reminder of Hava’s condition. But of course there were a few faults to it as well. For example, I didn’t enjoy the lack of dialogue and actions and though for some, those scenes may look realistic, to me a lot of them felt unneeded and dull. The film seemed to target a certain type of demographic – an older audience, who would be a lot more interested in such a slow paced piece.

One thing that was clear from the start was the message that the film was trying to send. I would say that it was a two part message, one from Aida’s part and the other from Marta’s. In a recent interview regarding the film Marta said “There is no need to go somewhere to find ourselves lost”. This sentence was representing Nada’s situation at the start, with so many things in her life falling apart and as a result she started to lose herself. Taking the trip put her back on track. And the second message was explained by Aida herself – aside from the movie Hava is her real daughter and her intentions with the movie was to bring more attention to autism as a real issue, not just for those that suffer from it, but for everyone that comes across it.

In conclusion, the movie is quite sentimental with a unique transition. Not the best piece out there, but definitely not the worst.

Elena Ilievska

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