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SAN SEBASTIÁN 2021 New Directors

Darko Sinko • Director of Inventory

“It is already a statement if you take a different approach in storytelling or formal aesthetics compared to how it’s done in Slovenian film tradition”

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- The tragicomedy by the Slovenian director premieres in New Directors and looks into what happens if you begin to mistrust everyone who surrounds you

Darko Sinko  • Director of Inventory

Slovenian director Darko Sinko presents his first feature, Inventory [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Darko Sinko
film profile
]
, at this year's San Sebastián Film Festival, in the New Directors section. It is a black comedy about a middle-aged man whose life gets turned upside down when someone tries to shoot him. He then has to make an inventory of all his friends and acquaintances in order to find out who might feel wronged by him. We talked to the director about the inspiration for the story and the main protagonist.

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Cineuropa: Where did your inspiration for the story come from?
Darko Sinko: I was inspired by a short novel by Czech author Karel Čapek and actually stole the very beginning of it. But the novel is a critique of the Czech establishment, and I wanted to take a more distant look at the topic of trust and mistrust. I wanted to look into what happens when you start to doubt the people who are closest to you. What happens when something you take for granted suddenly changes? Moreover, the times we are living in now show a tendency to look at everything and every relationship from the point of view of profit and interest. I wanted to deal with the topic with irony, to keep it very open and avoid psychological explanations, which is different from how films in Slovenia are normally made.

How did you develop the main character?
In the novel, the man is a politician; he is a member of the establishment and knows he has a lot of enemies and did many things that might have put him in this situation of someone wanting to shoot him. I wanted to make things less dramatic. I wanted to have a very boring, minimally interesting guy who leads a normal life. The main character had to be a regular guy who is good to everyone. I thought it would be funny to watch how this life would start unravelling after such an incident.

Trust and mistrust are key words in the film. What is your personal relationship with it?
The story is not directly related to my personal life. It is connected to how I think about life, though, and situations I have been in or have imagined. It relates to my own doubts and the fear that comes with the trust we put in the people who are closest to us.

How did you find your main actor?
Radoš Bolčina is a famous theatre actor. He is very eccentric – even for a stage actor. He had been asked several times to go to auditions for films, but he never went. In Inventory, he plays his first big film role ever. It was very interesting to see how he would fit into the role, which is so different from his eccentric nature. And I am happy that it actually worked out very well. I really enjoyed it.

Do you see the movie as a political statement?
It is not an overtly political film. It does, however, point out some problems and feelings that our times and our society can relate to. I guess it is already somehow a statement if you take a different approach in storytelling or formal aesthetics compared to how it’s done in Slovenian film tradition.

Where did your inspiration for the visual concept come from?
While preparing the funding applications, I already made some mood boards and worked on them with other people. I like to discuss things, to adopt a common approach to it and to allow each sector of the filmmaking process to contribute with its creativity. As for me, I was inspired by the aesthetics of the painter Magritte, for example, but also by the Czech cartoon series Pat and Mat [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
.

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