The camera glides across a rocky, seemingly uninhabited valley, upon which the sun shines mercilessly. In the distance, the echo of animal sounds can be heard, while an old man travels through the deserted surroundings with his improvised cane. Next, we see a man make charcoal in a brick hut. Another man covers the first part of his journey on horseback, then ties his horse to a tree and continues by car. One by one, the few inhabitants of a remote valley in the southwest of Montenegro are introduced by following them in their daily activities. They are mostly self-supporting and live off the yield of their land and their flocks of sheep. The documentary, clearly shot with affection and admiration, takes the time to show the rhythm of life in this arid vale, where water is drawn from deep wells and contact with the rest of society consists solely of the passing of the bus. Little is said. The old man occasionally hums a tune from days long gone, while another listens to news fragments on the wind-up radio. And yet, life here has not come to a complete standstill: a newborn baby sees the light. The documentary was filmed in Cuce, a village near Cetinje, and depicting the mundane and often cruel lives of the village’s inhabitants, Perovic gives an insight into how contemporary rural Montenegro clashes with the amenities of the 21st century.
Born in Montenegro, Vladimir Perovic graduated in Television and Film Directing from the Faculty of Dramatic Art in Belgrade. He has made original documentaries, as well as the occasional brief television serial. He has taken part in a host of national and international festivals, receiving fifty-seven awards.