Program 30: The Constitution
Directed by Rajko Grlic
Set in a Zagreb apartment building, The Constitution tells the story of four neighbors who have allowed their differences to divide them. But when circumstance forces them into each other’s lives, they will need to open themselves up and find a common understanding.
At the center of the story is Vjeko, a well-respected gay college professor in his fifties. With a lifelong penchant for cross-dressing, he regularly goes out on the town as the elegantly dressed Katarina. At his core, Vjeko is a deeply unhappy man burdened with caring for his dying father, Hrvoje. A war-hardened right-wing nationalist, Hrvoje despises his son. As a child, Vjeko took a brutal beating from his father when he was caught dressing in woman’s clothing. When Vejko taunts the elderly man with memories of the beating, Hrvoje angrily mutters, “I should have killed you.”
Living downstairs are Ante and Maja, a bickering married couple in their forties. Despite Ante’s friendly advances, Vjeko is barely willing to acknowledge his Serbian neighbor. The fact that Ante fought with the Croats against the Serbs in the civil war that brought Croatia its independence, makes no difference to Vjeko. Fate brings the four neighbors together when a savage gay bashing lands Vjeko in the hospital where Maja works as a nurse. Soon Maja will take over as Hrvoje’s caregiver and, in exchange, Vjeko will tutor Ante on the Croatian Constitution so he can keep his job as a policeman.
The Constitution does an excellent job of melding four carefully developed, well-layered characters with compelling dialogue to create a truly remarkable film. Winning awards at festivals around the world, The Constitution is a selection that should not be missed.
— Stephen K. Weisenreder
AWARDS & ACCOLADES
- JURY AWARD, Best International Film – Santa Barbara International Film Festival
- JURY AWARD, Best Film, Grand Prix des Amérique – Montréal World Film Festival
- JURY AWARD, European Actor of the Year: Nebojša Glogovac – Lecce European Film Festival (Italy)
- FILM CRITIC AWARD – Pula Film Festival (Croatia)
- SPECIAL AWARD, Diversity & Human Rights Award – Zinegoak Film Festival (Bilbao, Spain)
- AUDIENCE AWARD, Best Film – Lecce European Film Festival (Italy)
- OFFICIAL SELECTION – OUTshine Miami LGBT Film Festival
- OFFICIAL SELECTION – Inside Out Toronto LGBT Film Festival
- OFFICIAL SELECTION – Milano International Film Festival