Tanovic’s Circus Columbia has a multidimensional semiotic importance that is throughout its flow many motifs, patterns and mise-en-scene are incorporated in order to underlie cultural expressions such as language, local customs and way of thinking but also the given sociopolitical conditions that existed in that era in Bosnia-Herzegovina. As it was stated it the discussion today, the film indeed encompasses a variety of thematic features, therefore it does not deserve a single labeling with regards to its main topic that it addresses. Nevertheless, apart from the political aspect, namely the fall of Communism and the welcoming of a new era, that is Nationalism and its emerging state of affairs, the film includes many other elements of socially anthropological merit. To begin with, the arrival of Divko, after his 20 year exile in Germany, signifies the nouveau rich mentality of those returning back to their homeland. Suffering from nostalgia to repatriate, having undergone distress and subsequently worked many years in order to survive and eventually having made a lot of money, they return to their basis with another social status, that immensely changes them as humans. Similarly Divko becomes literally ruthless, totally apathetic, measures everything on the basis of money and has a materialistic attitude; also, his patriarchal norms oblige him to behave in a hegemonic, inhuman and superior way that undermines those in lower social strata. In an era which welcomes a new state of affairs in political regards, the phenomenon of imperialism is also implied in the film. Remember the scene whereby the main protagonist provokingly buys the hair-saloon which was the main economic source of his previous wife, and generally his appetite of changing the indigenous character of the things he acquires (the scene where he gets rid of the photographs of his ex-wife and some alterations he makes in the house is typical of this attitude). All these occurrences take place during a phase of political instability and preparation for war turmoil. Nevertheless, although this spirit highly prevails throughout the film, Tanovic marks his original Balkan signature, by incorporating an interplay of sense of humor, and that is what simply renders the film with a great deal of distinctiveness, stimulation and authenticity. All in all, it was an exceptional film to watch, not because it had a happy ending, but primarily because of its polysemic nature and its meaningful sociopolitical implications as well the means of representing these implications.
08 September, 2010
Posted by Michalis Michael at 01:00