Major awards include the Jeffrey C. Barbakow Award – Best International Feature Film at Santa Barbara International Film Festival; Bridging the Borders Award at South East European Film Festival; Best Supporting Actor and Best Supporting Actress awards at Milan International Film Festival; Award for Best Original Screenplay, Award for Best Actor and Audience award at European Film Festival in Lecce, four Golden Arenas (Best Screenplay, Best Actor, Best Supporting Actor, Best Director of Photography; Recognition for Best Croatian Feature Fiction Film - Award of the Fedeora jury) at the Pula Film Festival followed.
Four very different people live in the same building but avoid each other because of differences in how they live their lives, what they believe in and where they come from. They would probably never exchange a word, but misfortune pushes them towards each other. Their lives entangle in ways that profoundly challenge deep-held beliefs and prejudices surrounding material status, sexual orientation, nationality and religion.
Slowly, and even painfully, they begin to open up to each other and recognise the essential humanity each of them possesses.
Can a person deeply immersed in prejudices and hate even begin to understand how another human being feels? And can someone like that take a step further and reveal a loving personality beneath the mask of icy detachment?
These are the questions this film seeks to explore and answer. And, it seems, these questions are very well known to people around the world.
Controversies follow The Constitution due to its emotional story involving hate, prejudice and intolerance for the differences between the nationalities, gender, religion and sexual orientation. The fact that right-wing conservatives find the film highly controversial and almost insulting proves that it hits the target with its unique, strong and sometimes humorous storytelling, with interesting and complex characters led by famous Serbian actor Nebojsa Glogovac in the leading role of Croatian patriot and school professor with a secret.
On one occasion, Rajko Grlic stated: „If the saying "Hate is local!" is true, and I believe that it is, then every local hate, like the one this film is about, will be comprehensible to each person in Europe who has ever hated or been hated."
Thereafter, the film also had highly successful cinema distribution in Croatia, Serbia, Slovenia, Macedonia, the Czech Republic and, recently, Poland.
Critics are nevertheless unanimous regarding the film:
"A wonderful example of a complex story that plays with various kinds of prejudices. A heavy topic that becomes accessible through irony and light tones." – 18. European Film Festival, Lecce, Italy
"The Constitution, by Croatian director Rajko Grlić, touches your heart and soul — and lingers in your mind longer and deeper than any blockbuster loaded with an overabundance of special effects.” – Culture LA
“Ultimately, what won us of The Constitution is its ability to speak to people living and not of dead ideas. And this is not in the form of "tragedy" the story and the characters that animate it. On the contrary, he speaks of those "difficult things" with a hint of a smile, with a warmth and love that you can try to even the most negative character.” - CineClandestino.it
It is a film worth watching and definitely a film to be considered for an EFA nomination.
SPONSORSED STATEMENT: Sponsored by Inter Film d.o.o