Q&A with Juraj Lerotić on April 6 and 7
Expertly employing a suspenseful thriller framework to touch upon painful and deeply personal themes, first-time writer-director-star Juraj Lerotić has constructed a gripping, ever-intensifying drama about a young man (Lerotić) desperately trying to save and care for his suicidal brother, Damir (Goran Marković), over the course of 24 hours. Based on events from Lerotić’s own difficult family history, the film hews closely to its main character as he and his weary mother (Snježana Sinovčić Šiškov) navigate an endless bureaucratic chain of alternately incompetent and menacing medical professionals and eventually try to take the law into their own hands for the benefit of Damir’s physical and mental well-being. Wisely avoiding diagnosis or psychological motivation, Safe Place is a mostly naturalistic depiction of a mental health crisis that occasionally peers, as if in a dream, across the gossamer line separating life and death. Winner of the prize for best first feature at the 2022 Locarno Film Festival and several other international awards.