Coinciding with a time when we are fearing a war in Eastern Europe, filmin premiered a few weeks ago a miniseries that, somehow, takes us to the stage (and a great loose end) of one of the last great war conflicts in the continent: ‘the last three days‘ (Породица, “The Family”), which tells the story of the arrest of Slobodan Milošević.
Written and directed by Bojan Vuleti´c to coincide with the twentieth anniversary of the event, the five-episode series takes us to the weekend of March 30, 31 and April 1, 2001, when the arrest warrant is issued by the Yugoslav agencies.
Between politicians and journalists
‘The last three days’ plays mainly on two terrains: on the one hand, we have the purely political one with the conclave led by Zoran Ðinđi´c (Uliks Fehmiu), the prime minister of Serbia, to stop the former president once and for all. A move that, as necessary as it is to move the nation forward, could be considered treason.
Across the field we enter the presidential palace, home to the family of “Slobo” (Boris Isaković), who clings to its still great political and social influence to stay afloat. He and the operatives and authorities still loyal to him will barricade themselves against the government’s attempts to stop him.
No less important, we have another playing field at the headquarters of a television network where Nataša, a young intern (Isidora Isinojovi´c), finds herself in the situation of being the reporter in charge of narrating these events. While this seems like her big break, soon you will find yourself with interference from your boss (Ljubomir Bandović) who forces her to say what he wants even if this is not telling the truth.
Thus, the series is interested both in the political aspect, the arrest process (and its implications) and in the role of the media in crises like this and their manipulation in favor of the interests of those above (or the manager on duty). A plot that, although it talks about how the media were at that time, launches a dart warning that there is still a lot to do in that sense.
Something wobbly in its execution
Despite its status as a political drama, ‘The Last Three Days’ also tries to offer a small panorama at the level of “ordinary people”. For example, our entrance to the presidential palace is made through a new domestic worker or, also, we have the most familiar subplot with a grandmother that he takes his grandson to the demonstrations in favor of “Slobo”.
There are times in ‘The last three days’ an accurate use of the camera that does not always work. For example, from time to time there is a super wide angle in a closed room that, although I recognize that there is an interesting intention there in its intention to approach the documentary, is strange on stage. In this sense, they work better when in certain sequences, it is chosen to switch to a 4:3 format, emulating images captured by television at the time.
Although as the series progresses it threatens to falter with its tone – I understand that these are circumstances typical of Serbian fiction – and that sometimes one misses a greater depth in the background, ‘The last three days’ is an intense chronicle that absorbs with its story of the fall of a Milošević performed calmly and masterfully.