(aka "Witnesses" )

 

directed by Vinko Bresan
Croatia 2003

 

Svjedoci (Witnesses) is a masterful piece of storytelling that looks at events surrounding a murder and the possible execution of its only witness through various points of view. Croatian director Vinko Bresan, whose first two films were political satires, abandons irony here for an honest and emotional account of how war and ethnic hatred corrupt moral behavior. With top-notch production values, especially fluid and sharp-focused cinematography by Zivko Zalar, this Berlinale competition film makes an excellent candidate for art houses everywhere.

Bresan follows a recent filmmaking trend that eschews linear narration in favor of a fractured story wherein the same events are recounted from different viewpoints, letting motivations and back story gradually fill in a picture that is only completely clear in the film's final moments.

The different viewpoints reveal the interconnections of nearly everyone in the small town, a microcosm for what happened in Croatia, where terrible things occurred during the war and everyone, in a sense, bore witness to these crimes against humanity.

Excerpt from Kirk Honeycutt, The Hollywood Reporter

Poster

Theatrical Release: 20 July 2003

Reviews    More Reviews  DVD Reviews

DVD Review: Mongrel Media - Region 1 - NTSC

Big thanks to Yunda Eddie Feng for the Review!

DVD Box Cover

CLICK to order from:

 

The Film Movement version (shown left) is reported to be the exact same and is found here:

Distribution

Mongrel Media

Region 1 - NTSC

Runtime 83
Video

2.35:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 6.27 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate

Audio Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo Serbo-Croatian
Subtitles Forced English subtitles
Features Release Information:
Studio: Mongrel Media

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 2.35:1

Edition Details:
• trailer for Water

DVD Release Date: 1 March 2007
transparent keepcase

Chapters 12

 

 

Comments:

Video:
The 2.35:1 anamorphic widescreen image has a lot of ghosting and combing, leading me to believe that the NTSC video was taken from a PAL source. Colors are a bit dull and faded, though much of the movie is intentionally dark anyway. The image is slightly windowboxed (black borders on all four sides).

Audio:
The Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo Serbo-Croatian track provides basic audio information without getting fancy (i.e. not a lot of stereo effects are used).

Forced English subtitles support the audio.

Extras:
The only disc-based extras are a trailer for Water and a note about Mongrel Media.

--Miscellaneous--
Through the transparent keepcase, you can see an ad for other DVDs in Mongrel Media’s “
The Festival Collection” that was printed on the back side of the DVD cover art.

 - Yunda Eddie Feng

 



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DVD Box Cover

CLICK to order from:

 

The Film Movement version (shown left) is reported to be the exact same and is found here:

Distribution

Mongrel Media

Region 1 - NTSC




 

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