Train Driver's Diary (Dnevnik masinovodje)
Cert: TBC Year: 2016 Length: 85 mins Language: Serbian
Cinema Handout (PDF 73KB)
Score: 79% Attendance: 86
A story of a train driver bringing up his adoptive son Sima whilst dealing with suicides and accidental deaths on his trains: believe it or not, this is more a comedy than anything. If I tell you that a train driver might inadvertently kill 20 or 30 people in a career, it could get even harder to believe, but writer/director Milos Radovic has "produced a touching portrayal of a life we struggle to comprehend, whilst striking an incredibly funny tone to match the coping mechanisms of the real life subjects of the story. As a film to simply enjoy, it is near faultless" - James Baxter-Derrington - The Panoptic.
The film starts with train driver Illija explaining to his counsellor how he has coped with one particular incident where he has killed six gypsies. Even watching this with no subtitles made me want to laugh; actor Lazar Ristovski, who plays Illija, manages to look a lot like John Cleese as he explains what happened!
I don't want you to think this is a heartless comedy romp, however. The bulk of the story tries to show how hard it is for drivers to deal with these events, with Illija trying hard to prevent Sima from becoming a driver like him. As the Raindance Festival reviewer puts it, "The film has a very difficult balance to maintain between being able to discuss suicide, accidental killing, and trauma in a sincere, but funny manner, and simply making light of these issues. It never fails to fall on the right side of this divide...Miloš Radović triumphs with this must-see sensitive, funny and heartwarming portrayal of the psychology of innocent murderers."
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18th Keswick Film Festival 16-19th February 2017
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