“You have the night” shows the lifelessness held in the characters’ souls

„Film’s slow pace is caused by the long frames which capture the sorrowful days that never end.“

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.

“You have the night” is a heartsick realistic drama directed by Ivan Salatić. This is Salatić‘s first feature film, released in 2018. “You have the night” takes place in Montenegro’s Herceg Novi. This sad story gives the audience a peak of the lifelessness held in the character’s souls.

Sanja (Ivana Vuković) is left hopeless and unemployed after quitting her job as a cleaning lady on a cruiser, which forces her to go back home to her family. Back in the day, the shipyard had been the main source of jobs and prosperity, which was shown in the film through the archive material, and opposite to the way it is now. As Sanja arrives home to her son, lover and divorced parents, she finds that people in the village, Bjiela, are left with nothing but being homeless, jobless and hopeless. The passive behaviour makes the situation even more difficult to swallow.

The town is presented as a depressing and dark place shown through Ivan Marković‘s breathtaking choice of colour palette. This type of cinematography shows that not everything in life is sunshine and rainbows. Film’s slow pace is caused by the long frames which capture the sorrowful days that never end. There is little to no context and background story which leaves the viewers with many questions. Nothing in the film is explicit. One of the sources of information is the radio from where we can hear about all the social political problems in the town. Sadness and melancholy surround the characters, making the film rough to watch. Ivan Salatić does an astonishing job trying to get the heavy message across using the minimalist but very powerful sound effects as well as the scenography.

As you go deeper into the film you will realize that everything revolves around the sea, the film’s first and last scenes being waves. The film as a whole is very thought provoking and will make you think. Its monotone and heavy topic attracts a specific audience which makes the film not for everyone. The film provoked many deep emotions and I would highly recommend it to anyone looking for inspiration.

Dijana Damcevska

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