Teona Strugar Mitevska’s Macedonia-set satire charts the empowering, thought-provoking journey of a woman who challenges patriarchy and gender equality while finding herself in the process.
Unemployed and living with her overbearing parents, 32-year-old Petrunya (newcomer Zorica Nusheva) is not having a good day. On her way back home from a failed job interview and humiliated by a sleazy manager whose sexual advances didn’t even grant her employment, she suddenly finds herself surrounded by a group of half-naked men. Readying themselves to compete for a crucifix thrown into the river by a priest – a male-only Macedonian religious custom – Petrunya on a whim dives in and beats them to the prize.
Chaos ensues and she is whisked off to the police station where cops, church authorities and men ‘robbed’ of their cross argue over this so-called crime. But Petrunya refuses to be bullied into submission and to give the cross up – which tradition says will bring her a year of good luck. Inspired by a real-life incident, director Teona Strugar Mitevska’s award-winning drama combines feminism, fury and biting social commentary to often hilarious effect.
“This isn’t just an engaging tale of one woman challenging the male-dominated church and state, but a movie making a smart, impassioned statement against widely accepted subjugation in many forms.” – Sarah Ward, Screendaily