A woodworker carves elegant ornamentations, metal disks are lifted glowing out of the furnace, rows of seamstresses work at their machines and a man carefully brushes a horse in a stable. With its exquisite lighting and camerawork, The Same would appear to be showing the beauty of craftsmanship, repetition and uniformity—in reality, we're seeing the monotonous lives of prisoners in four Serbian prisons. The only spoken words we hear are short announcements by guards, who in turn are uniform and also part of the system. Yet there are countless unique variations underlying all this uniformity, while there's much sameness in supposedly free choices. The rhythmically edited images portray the prison as a metaphor for society, which is also made up of countless rules and rhythms. How much individual freedom do we have outside the prison walls, and do we really make our own choices?
Dejan Petrović for Independent Film Centre Filmart