Miracle  {Zazrak}


Slovakia, 2013, 78 Minute Running Time
Additional Countries: Czech Republic
Genre/Subjects: Drama, Medical/Health, Romance, Teen
Program: Contemporary World Cinema
Language: Slovak English Sub-Titles

Ela (Michaela Bendulova), a 15-year-old Slovakian girl, is forcibly institutionalized by her mother and her mother’s new lover. While inside, she lifelessly submits to her highly structured new routine, showing emotion only when speaking of her substantially older boyfriend, Roby (Robert Roth), or when fighting with one of her fellow at-risk teens. In the midst of a talent show featuring beat-boxers and break-dancers, Ela collapses onstage. She discovers she is pregnant with Roby’s child, leading her to fugitively seek out her drug-addicted lover.

Her reunion with the irredeemable Roby will prove personally disastrous: learning of Roby’s sizable drug debt, and following his desperate suggestion, Ela does the one thing open to her to improve their economic position. Thus hitting bottom, she considers reentering institutional life, a decision that could offer some small measure of redemption for her (and a future for her unborn child). Indeed, in its lightly redemptive humanistic discourse, socially marginal setting, and judicious use of the long take, former documentarian Juraj Lehotsky’s first fictional feature strongly recalls the masterful cinema of former nonfiction filmmakers Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne—with L’enfant, their acclaimed tale of teenage parenthood on the margins, offering an especially telling point of reference.

Ultimately, Miracle is newcomer Bendulova’s film. Recruited from a reform school similar to the one presented on screen, the extraordinary actress is at her best in the film’s quieter moments, when her “angular” physical presence and her character’s battered psychology emerge most decisively.

For information on group rates and community partnerships, please contact Karla Rodriguez at karla@denverfilm.org

DIRECTOR: Juraj Lehotsky
Producer: Jan Melis
Editor: Marek Sulik
Screenwriter: Juraj Lehotsky, Marek Lescak
Cinematographer: Noro Hudec
Principal Cast: Michaela Bendulova, Katarina Feldekova, Ela Lehotska

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