IndieWire Review | Singing Serbian Depression: “White White World”

In the Serbian drama “White White World: The Miner’s Opera” (“Beli Beli Svet”), the characters sing, but never dance. Formulated as a modern day Greek tragedy set in the decrepit southeastern mining town Bor, the movie follows a close group of alienated locals through misguided love affairs and other brash misdeeds. But the songs feature no choreography or other stylish methods of breaking the harsh, downtrodden tableaux. It’s a surprisingly effective strategy. With his sophomore effort, director Oleg Novkovic uses musical expression to frame inner monologues that would never work in spoken form. As a result, a story exclusively populated by damaged people engaged in morally ambiguous, often depraved behavior manages to evoke sympathy for all of them.

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