Monday, October 07, 2013

"It Rains in My Village" is a bizarre satire set in communist Yugoslavia

The bizarre black comedy “It Rains in My Village” (“Bice skoro propast sveta”) by Aleksandar Petrovic, dates back to 1968, at the time that the Soviets would clamp down on Czechoslovakia.  That history fits into the film, set in former Yugoslavia, in a quaint rural environment.  Folk music is sung and played on guitars and banjos throughout the film, despite the carnage that goes on.  The film is distributed by MGM’s United Artists, which distributed indie films throughout the 90’s and it may have been reissued around then.
The plot concerns a somewhat gullible hog dealer, Trisha (a reasonably handsome Ivan Paluch) who is persuaded by buddies to marry Goca, a mentally disabled young woman.   I thought that the concept of the film was curious for this reason alone, because I cannot conceive of sexual attraction to someone like this, an existential point.  Is that the best he can do?  Soon Trisha falls in love with a new gal in town, Reza, a teacher, who offers herself to other men, particularly a biplane pilot who crashes into a tree in the village.  Trisha shows his own dim wit when he impulsively murders his hapless wife, as her body is found, throat cut, in Hitchcock fashion.  Trisha’s father takes the rap (it’s hard to see why) but then changes his mind.  The townspeople act as vigilantes and string up Trisha in a belfry system (remember “Vertigo”) and which tears him to pieces.
All of this happens within the political context of a gradual communist takeover, which makes the film even more bizarre.  The idea of a “village idiot” is well known even from Shakespeare;  in “Julius Caesar”, the cobbler fulfills that purpose.

Just before he gets caught, Trisha witnesses a visiting freak show, with a mustached woman, and is curiously attracted to a man with a tattooed chest.  He is offered the tattoo himself, and it is done, again curiously without having to shave his chest.

Despite the implied brutality of the film, which may be a sideshow commentary to Soviet aggression, relatively little is shown completely on camera.  The film pretty much stays in PG-13 territory.

The film is available free on YouTube and for Instant play on Netflix.

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