Future Frames 2016 Review: Tourism!

Future Frames is a platform which highlights new groundbreaking European cinema and the promising young directing talent behind it. The selection of ten outstanding film students and graduates from schools throughout Europe brings the next generation of European filmmakers to the attention of the industry and press during 3 days of events and screenings at this year's Karlovy Vary International Film Festival. Cineuropa Shorts will bring our readers reviews of the works of the films selected for this years event

A dictionary definition for ‘tourism’ highlights two basic meanings: it is the practice of traveling for pleasure and the business of providing tours and services for tourists. The documentary film by Croatian director Tonči Gaćina discovers both aspects of this activity.

The plot takes place in Croatia – in typical touristic places, like the seaside city of Split, Tučepi beach and Korčula island. At the beginning, the camera accompanies a fisherman during fishing, the guide of a touristic boat tour, and the driver who appears as one of the septic tank service employees during his work. With time, the gallery of characters and their jobs gets bigger. Constructing a perfect vision of a holiday destination which will follow through the expectations of the demanding tourists requires a lot of effort from all those invisible, hard-working people. The director becomes a guide who takes us for a long ‘behind the scenes’ trip. Thanks to him, we can have a look at the wings of the long process of creating the flawless product – a happy tourist.

Gaćina builds his story on contrasts. He combines frames filled with a crowd of obese tourists dancing to Croatian and Polish disco with long silent shots of singular employees in the empty spaces cleaning after those parties. Tourism! tries to show both sides of this phenomenon. The narration is coloured with a little bit of an ironic sense of humour and – despite the fact that it is kind of a distorting mirror – sympathy for the characters.

The form of the movie was considered carefully. The slow pace of narration, the wide shots, the geometrical frames – they create the mood of the story. Those frames bring to the mind Love – the first part of Urlich Seidl’s Paradise Trilogy. What both directors have in common is also the subject – they try to show scuffs of the perfect images created by the travel agencies and tourists. Tourism! takes an interest at this superficial way of travelling, but, at the same time, shows appreciation for all those working hard to create the tourists’ experience. However, in showing the calm routine of holidays, the film might feel tiring for some viewers.

Review by Monika Martyniuk

The above review is by one of the journalists from Nisimazine, the scheme from NISI MASA which gives young writers the opportunity to hone their craft whilst experiencing a film festival. You can read this review - and other texts from Karlovy Vary - at http://www.nisimazine.org/

06 July 2016, by Cineuropa Shorts