Woman In Purple

By Igor Drljaca | Drama
An orphan who works for a drug dealer meets a woman who reminds him of his mother.

Mirza is a young orphan in Sarajevo, often left to his own devices under his elderly grandmother's care. Often on his own, he earns easy money assisting a local drug dealer in town.

Dispatched on a job one day, he experiences a chance encounter, one that uses the guise of maternal affection to mask a shadier exchange. Faced with the unexpected reminder of his missing mother, he must face where his path is headed.

Written and directed with great thoughtfulness by Igor Drljaca, this dramatic short is essentially a coming-of-age story. Most coming-of-age stories arc from innocence to experience, piercing the veil of youthful illusion into the realities of life. This one reverses that progression, charting the journey of a young boy who perhaps had had to grow up too fast.

The story is told with pared-down but perceptive writing and an observational sense of pacing, brought to life by naturalistic cinematography full of coolly muted tones and handheld camera. Some of the shots have a sculpted, almost abstract quality that communicates Mirza's place in the world, often emphasizing the looming presence of Sarajevo itself or the cloistered darkness of his interactions with adults. Mirza's milieu is an often lonely one, capturing a boy navigating the world without guidance or love.

Mirza himself has little dialogue, instead often watching and responding to the world around him as he goes about his job. He watches mothers with their children; he deals with grubbing customers and sees them at their most cynical and petty. Played with understated ease by actor Haris Begic, he evokes a hardening, stoic exterior, weathered by loss and the self-involvement of the adults around him. But in poignant key moments, Begic also hints at the young boy still longing for familial love and affection. That buried longing comes to the surface, perhaps changing Mirza's path at a crucial point in life.

"Woman In Purple" is a subtle, even minimalistic film, one that is both distant in its observational style and intimate in its keen attention to its main character's internal experience. There isn't a lot of background on how Mirza came to be without parents, though one gets the sense there are many other orphans in Sarajevo. The film exists firmly in Mirza's present tense. Mirza has been forced to grow up fast, and with a child's adaptability, he has gone along with the fast-moving currents of the world around him.

But in dealing with the ghost of his grief, however briefly, he must remember the young child within him, and he must learn to guide that young child himself. We don't quite know what path he will take at the story's conclusion, but he's left on a basketball court playing on his own with a sense of abandon -- like the child he should be.




You Might Also Like:

Iniquity

By Oliver Goodrum | Drama
A man who bullied a disabled girl tries to escape his past. Then an angry mob finds him.

Pony

By Candice Carella | Drama
A single mother leaves her young daughter with a rock musician uncle.

Sylvia

By Richard Prendergast | Drama
A single mother takes her family on a road trip. But it's to an unwanted destination.

Second Best

By Alyssa McClelland | Comedy
Twin sisters turn into rivals when one's gymnastics career steals the spotlight.

No More Wings

By Abraham Adeyemi | Drama
2 friends meet at their favorite fried chicken shop. But their lives have diverged.

Avarya

By Gokalp Gonen | Animation
A man is trapped on a spaceship after his robot overseer finds every planet uninhabitable.

Feeling Through (Oscars)

By Doug Roland | Drama
A homeless teen meets a deaf-blind man who changes his life forever...

Ernie

By Hadley Hillel | Drama
A man's suicide attempt rips a hole in the ceiling. Then he befriends the boy upstairs.

Dig Your Own Grave

By Kirk Larsen | Comedy
A man is forced to dig his own grave in the desert. But the ground is hard.

Call Connect

By Josiah Allen and Indianna Bell | Drama
A young helpline operator takes her first call and gets more than she expected.

More Than God

By Kev Cahill | Comedy
A devoted husband suspects his wife is cheating on him. Then he hides under the bed.

Welcome to Iron Knob

By Dave Wade | Comedy
A young boy accidentally shoots a stranger and the town tries to cover it up.

CODA

By Erika Davis-Marsh | Romance
A young dancer falls for a deaf guy, then tries to find her place in the world.

Toni With an I

By Marco Alessi | Drama
An awkward girl doesn't fit in at school. Then the Internet comes to save her.

The Things You Think I'm Thinking

By Sherren Lee | Drama
A burn-survivor goes on his first date after his accident.



Your favorite short films you haven't seen yet.

Inspiring and insightful. Entertaining and enlightening.
That's what you can expect here: no fluff. Just a steady
stream of the best films delivered to your inbox.