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Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Letter to Saint Nicholas

by Petra Janša

No, this is not a title of a new Slovenian film. For our film censors a title like this would be politically incorrect from the outset. Moreover, the hit with a similar title was also shot by the now world-famous director Mitja Okorn. We can only say, “Hats off!” His latest film Life in a Year with the message “live and love this moment” is a teenage love story premiered last Friday on Amazon Prime. The fiery but very sick Isabelle (Cara Delavigne) only has a year to live. Compassionate Daryn (Jaden Smith) promises her that they will experience a lifetime in the time she has left.

Among the executive producers of the Hollywood film is the star Will Smith, and the director Okorn needs no introduction to the Slovenian public. But still. The daring boy succeeded in 2004 with a budget-less, Tarantino action comedy Tu pa tam (Here and there). He wanted to continue on this path, however, in the land of Santa Claus, as he named Slovenia, he failed to finish his criminal film with a working title Član (Member). The film is based on a true story of the only surviving man of “a certain” generation, which profitably experienced and survived the bloody disintegration of the former Yugoslavia through crime.

Young Okorn did not throw in the towel, he found another genre – a Christmas family movie and a romantic comedy. He also changed scenery and moved to Poland, where he recorded a film hit Letters to Santa (2011) (Pisma sv. Nikolaju) and Planeta Singli (2016) (Planet samskih).

And we are only left with a request in the letter to Saint Nicholas, that someone with enough courage to film a crime story after real events will be found. The writing of the script has been going on for decades, and the stars of the film are drugs, illegal weapons, money laundering, and terrorism. The Novič and Stephan cases are just the tip of the iceberg of this reality scenario. Until then, Delo journalists can lie about how the NPU, in search of Jamnik’s killer, “tracked down Milko Novič, a former mayoral candidate from the SDS party. Besides the courtroom trial of Jamnik’s murder, a street trial took place at the same time”, whatever that means. Shame!

Petra Janša is a journalist of the magazine Demokracija.

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