Five Dalibor Matanic films that you cannot miss

Five Dalibor Matanic films that you cannot miss
2016 News Unexpected Love Stories

Dalibor Matanić is one of the most acclaimed Croatian screenwriters and film directors.  He was born in 1975 in Zagreb, where he studied Film and TV directing at the Academy of Dramatic Art (ADU).  He directed many short films before releasing his first feature, Cashier Wants to Go to the Seaside (2000). In his 20 years as a director, Matanić has created many unique works of art. We select our five favourites films from Dalibor Matanić.


The story of Fine Dead Girls focuses on Iva and Marija, two young women who decide to rent a flat so that they can be in love freely. The building where they live is populated with all kinds of pepople: a prostitute, a veteran soldier, an old man who hides the death of his wife to keep receiving her pension… When all these residents discover the sexual orientation of the couple, intolerance and violence emerge.

This thriller gives the audience what it promises: emotion, tension, and shocking plot twists. Even if Fine Dead Girls is not a masterpiece, it’s certainly a very entertaining film that raises an important issue of great social significance: the violence suffered by people belonging to sexual minorities.


The Lika Cinema is a story about lonely people in a lonely place: a young football player who accidentally killed his mother, a fat girl desperate for a friend and a lover, and a miser peasant who can no longer stand his loneliness.  The three of them live in a godforsaken mountain village that celebrates the referendum for integration into the European Union.

The work of the entire cast, and the capacity of Dalibor Matanic to create a very special universe for these particular characters, makes watching this movie an unforgettable experience.


This is probably the most intimate and subtle film from Dalibor Matanic. Mare is a woman in her thirties who sees her marriage start to crumble after being fired from her job a few days before Christmas. When she refuses to have sex with her husband, he beats her, and Mare inmediatly leaves home with her little boy in her arms.

The film describes the misfortunes of Mare as she struggles to find a new home for herself and her son. She tries her best to find a place to stay but finds herself forced to sleep with the boy in their car. The strong visual sense of Matanic and the incredible work of actress Marija Skaricic as Mare make Mother of Asphalt a brilliant piece of art and an excellent portrait of contemporary European society.

DADDY (2011)

In Mother of Asphalt, Dalibor Matanic told the story of a woman who fought to her limits to protect her child. In Daddy, we follow a young girl who convinces her sister and boyfriend to join her in the search for her father. The group drives to the Lika backwoods to find the man who abandoned his family years ago. From the beginning, we can see that this is not another family drama but rather something akin to a horror film.

The snowy landscape, the hidden conversations, the regrets from the past, and the strange behavior of the characters keep us still and silent, wondering what is going on with this family and hoping that the latent tension we feel never explodes.  In this film, Matanic shows his versatility and his capacity to describe in detail the psyche of very diverse and complex characters.


Three different love stories, set in three consecutive decades, in two neighbouring Balkan villages burdened with a long history of inter-ethnic hatred.  This is a film that makes you shiver with its storyline alone. In The High Sun, Dalibor Matanic crosses two completely different but equally exciting topics: love and politics.

The three love stories told in the film are full of passion and truth. The emotion extends beyond the boundaries of the screen and we have the privilege to become part of the lovers’ adventures. During this journey we learn about the complex social and political reality of the region and we end by asking ourselves hundreds of questions about love, life, war, fear, hope and the many other issues that drive human existence.