There are plenty of ‘coming of age’ stories out there and even more about twenty somethings finding their place in the world. There are also films about those approaching their 30s but refusing to ‘grow up’, these films are traditionally dominated by young male leads but in recent years, there’s been a few with women taking the lead, creeping through the gaps and one those is Aleksi. 

Aleksi, 28 years old, has two internships to her name and hopefully another in Berlin. Returning home to her parents and their family run vineyard, Aleksi will do anything to avoid working for them or even helping. She spends her day scowling at visitors, flirting with tourists and older men and her nights drinking and taking drugs with her neighbour. But when she meets Goran, a local musician, her very loose plans to leave start to unfurl, but this doesn’t mean she can’t ruin everything in spectacular wild child fashion. 

Aleksi doesn’t represent the millennial attitude towards work that all the other generations think they have. She is too old for that label. Aleksi is lazy, has a temper and a destructive streak but ultimately she just wants to leave home and move away from her family’s business. She says she’s creative, a photographer and that’s why she can’t work for the business and although we see her throughout taking photographers, her drive to escape the life in the idyllic town and runaway isn’t for creative reasons, she just wants no responsibility. She is character that is too admired as well as disliked. She just does what she wants, whenever she wants, using whoever is around to entertain her. She’s aware of her bad reputation and even though it upsets her, she’d not going to change her ways. 

The crux of Aleksi’s issues are never really resolved or ever said out loud. When she meets Goran, someone who literally challenges her and doesn’t let get away with her bad behaviour, but she can’t bring herself to say how much she cares about him or admit that she her plan has changed. Barbara Vekaric’s debut feature is something that has been missing from the regular female character focused stories. Aleksi crashes into the cinema full of energy and reluctance to grow up, for a film with not very clear resolutions, it really does make an impression and is, upon reflection, brilliantly executed. 

Dir: Barbara Vekaric

Prd: Marina Andree Skop, Darija Kulenovic Gudan

Scr: Barbara Vekaric

Cast: Tihana Lazovic, Goran Markovic, Sebastian Cavazza, Jason Mann, Natasa Janjic

Music: Pavle Miholjevic

DoP: Filip Tot

Year: 2018

Country: Croatia

Running time: 90 minutes