The solar eclipses of 1961 and 1999 frame this essayistic documentary, which took the first prize at CPH:DOX in Copenhagen. In the intervening years, Yugoslavia, the country in which filmmaker Nataša Urban was born, was torn to pieces. While the archive footage from 1961 shows people out on the streets watching the spectacle through blackened shards of glass, in 1999, after a decade of conflict, secession and ethnic cleansing, they draw the curtains.
Urban visits her family in what is now Serbia and invites them to reminisce. The solar eclipses serve as a metaphor: you can never look directly at the past; you have to view it through a filter, or even look away completely. In the overlapping images with sepia filters and nostalgic Super-8 film, there is always contrast: between expansive landscape shots and still lifes of food, between personal memory and collective history, between what is expressed and what is left unsaid.