• Golden Globe Awards

Extracurricular (Croatia)

Vlado Mladinic is a divorced father who tries to see his nine-year-old daughter on her birthday. Because his ex-wife will not permit this, he forces his way into her classroom – with a hunting rifle and a birthday cake. His daughter’s reaction is mostly one of embarrassment. It adds to the plot that the son of a young policeman is also in the class, as do the presence of a firefighter’s precocious boy who will not stay quiet, and the female teacher of class 3B, who is anything but scared, and berates Vlado in a rapid-fire monologue that turns into a comical dialogue when the two start talking over each other. From the get-go, this story has quirky, comedic overtones. The vain mayor of the small Croatian town outside Zagreb tries to turn this supposed school shooting into a news story benefitting nothing and no one but him. After all, he is up for re-election in ten days, and the perpetrator’s ex-wife is the sister of his opponent. With complete disregard for the law and human decency, he is willing to risk bloodshed to make himself look good. Add to that a wanna-be bloodhound journalist and a stupid, blonde TV-reporter with no skills and even fewer morals, who slants the story to make the ex-wife look bad, and you have all the makings of dark comedy that also serves as a social commentary.
Ivan-Goran Vitez, who started his career from the bottom up, having had jobs as grip, gaffer, second unit and assistant director, and having acted in six films and written seven, directed Extracurricular. This is his eighth film behind the camera. He is known for Posljednja Pricest, Zakon! And, most recently, Shooting Stars, all dark and sometimes absurdist comedies, which is his preferred genre. The script for Extracurricular juggles a lot of characters and even more dialogue.
The film stars Milivoj Beader as the desperate father, Frida Jaksic as his ex-wife and Zeljko Königsknecht as the corrupt mayor.