Observing

by Janez Burger

Opazovanje, fiction, digital DCP, 1,33:1 (4:3), c, 85 min
In production Q2 2023
SI, HR, MK, IT

Inspired by true events. The film follows Lara, a paramedic intern who helps bring a young man into a hospital after he was brutally beaten and live-streamed on Facebook. The clip was seen by 20,000 people and no one called the police. Although he is in a coma, Lara starts to receive video clips from his FB profile, showing unidentified persons watching him get beaten. She reports this to a detective, who starts an investigation. All the observers who appear in the video clips will become a nightmare in her real life. She soon realises that she is also an accomplice in this horrible event.

screenwriters
Janez Burger, Srdjan Koljević
director
Janez Burger
producers
Miha Černec, Jožko Rutar, Nina Robnik
director of photography
Marko Brdar
film editor
Miloš Kalusek
production designers
Vasja Kokelj, Špela Jelovčan
costume designer
Ana Savić Gecan
key make-up artist
Ana Bulajić Črček
hair designer
Ana Bulajić Črček
featuring
Diana Kolenc, Vladimir Vlaškalić, Benjamin Krnetić, Jure Henigman, Nataša Keser, Blaž Setnikar, Pavle Ravnohrib
production
Staragara
co-funding
Slovenian Film Centre, Croatian Audiovisual Centre, RTV Slovenija, Film Studio Viba Film, North Macedonia Film Agency, Friuli Venezia Giulia Film Commission - FVG, Italian Ministry of Culture, Creative Europe - MEDIA
Janez Burger

Janez Burger was born in 1965 in Slovenia. He studied at the Faculty of Economics in Ljubljana and at FAMU in Prague, where he graduated from film and TV direction in 1996. For his films he has won several awards at Slovene and international film festivals. He also works in theatre and opera. He lives and works in Ljubljana.

“I have never been one for apocalyptic visions of the world, but it's becoming increasingly clear to me that today's situation has gone beyond a joke. And we are doing nothing about it. I am seriously concerned about the ubiquitous passivity. This is not about passivity in terms of activity, where we are constantly struggling to secure a more or less satisfactory standard of living, but we are drowning in another form of passivity that is destroying the very foundation of humanity - empathy. Without empathy and its consequences, we cease to be human beings. And we stop being a society. Never in the history of humanity have we been so connected and yet at the same time so alone. Atomized. Empathy is the foundation of humanity. I am talking about empathy, which comes at a very intimate level of each individual. When you empathize with another person. Sometimes all it takes is an understanding look, a word, a conversation, and a call for help. Minimal effort is required for this kind of empathy. This is a form of passivity that is hidden deep within us. Most of the time we are not even aware of it, but it slowly eats us up from the inside, and thus dehumanizes us. An intimate passivity with global dimensions. Without a shift in our minds that redefines us as inwardly active, sentient beings, we will not be able to turn the tide of events that are leading to the disintegration of our society and ruining humanity. This is the passivity I want to talk about in the film OBSERVING.”