One of the best things about moviegoing is watching a rising star come into their own element. Up-and-coming actors are always praised for this, but we don’t shed enough light on indie filmmakers who finally find the right vehicle for them.
Case in point: Igor Drljaca. Drljaca, a Bosnian-Canadian filmmaker, has been on my radar since his patient feature film debut, Krivina. Since then, he’s applied his narrative skills and fascinations to different projects starring diverse characters (In Her Place, The Waiting Room). While the results have been stronger with every film, Drljaca’s first feature-length documentary The Stone Speakers is where the writer/director hits his stride. Hopefully, this marks the beginning of a career in this genre.
In The Stone Speakers, the lead character is….you. Drljaca transports the viewer to his home country of Bosnia and Herzegovina to observe the scenery and listen to locals. The shots are static and the interviews are distant, but it’s all purposeful. With The Stone Speakers, Drljaca acknowledges a disconnect that’s been hard to ignore for the country since the 90s. The film wears this history on its sleeve as the viewer is given the opportunity to quietly scour dilapidated landscapes.
The Stone Speakers will be an unforgettable trip for audiences. This immersive experience is neat not only because we learn more about the film’s country, but also because it gives movie goers the chance to discover hideaways that are still filled with spirited tradition – a quality Bosnia still hopes will translate to their withering tourism industry.
The Stone Speakers is now playing at Toronto’s TIFF Bell Lightbox.
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Addison Wylie: @AddisonWylie