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Quit Staring at My Plate

(Ne gledaj mi u pijat)
Croatia/Denmark 2016. Dir: Hana Jušić. 105 min. DCP

Family is a prison in Croatian writer-director Hana Jušić’s stellar debut feature, winner of the Fedeora prize for Best Euro-Mediterranean Film at Venice. Raw and at times uncomfortably realist — but dappled with moments of disarming comic levity — Quit Staring at My Plate follows the stifling domestic life of Marijana (alluring newcomer Mia Petričević), a 24-year-old living in squalor and too-close quarters with her domineering father, careless, crass mother, and mentally disabled older brother. When the patriarch suffers a debilitating stroke, Marijana becomes the family’s sole breadwinner, and the autonomy it affords her awakens an unexpected appetite for sex and control. A delayed-coming-of-age story with feminist potency, Jušić’s first foray into feature filmmaking was Croatia’s official submission to this year’s 90th Oscars. In Croatian with English subtitles.