The whole story
It’s Autumn of 1991. The story is set in a village in the inland part of Dalmatia in Croatia, near the Adriatic. A brutal war is ragingacross the country. For Mother and her two daughters – Lorena (11) and Mia (9) this is a great day: the girls’ father Mirko is about to bereleased from a camp where he was held as a prisoner of war for the last 3 months. He’s about to come home in the morning, that is if thisexchange of prisoners goes well – unlike the last two that were canceled at the last moment.
But, Mia and Lorena are in no hurry to get back home. After school they practice a dance routine for a school recital. They do it passionately and the return home doesn’t even cross their minds. Back at home, Mother is getting ready, nervously expecting the return of her husband. The neighbours come over to show support, also anxious to see Mirko. They bring food and something to drink. As two girls finally get back home from school, the atmosphere is getting rowdy – Ante the neighbor is drunk and loud.
Mirko finally arrives, bruised, battered and broken. He’s weak and barely able to stand on his own. The officer who picked him up at the exchange carries him inside. The family is finally together again, but there’s no happiness, only sadness and confusion. Mother is very visible shocked and she doesn’t hide the fact. Ante is drunk and starts making fun of the situation – Mirko is the lucky one, he’ll get an army pension and all he had to do for it was a few weeks of camp. Mother loses her temper and attacks Ante, throwing the neighbors out
of the house.
Lorena and Mia decide to practice their choreography and when the cassette player batteries finally die, all they’re left with is silence.