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Witnesses (2003)

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This one has been on my radar for a while--it was a Film Movement title and is streaming on Netflix--and the description mentions it's "told from a number of different viewpoints," which is one of my favorite things when it's done well (in Hawaii, Oslo, for example), and I finally got to it tonight.

Witnesses follows a murder investigation in a Croatian city, and it tells the story from the perspectives of the police as well as the murderers. The movie opens with a 5-minute tracking shot that follows cars through the streets and also zooms into and out of a few houses along the way; I'm not sure how they pulled it off, and it's especially impressive in a film that seems to have a pretty limited budget overall. It's more than just an interesting shot, though; it does a good job of setting up how the story is going to be structured and told, too.

Most of Witnesses felt like a good episode of the NBC show Boomtown (anyone else remember it?) with the way you come back to the same conversations from different sides and follow a number of characters as they interact over the same period of it. Towards the end, though, it pushes the moral dilemmas of the story in ways that I found quite effective. There's a political subtext to it, as well, but I don't know enough about Croatian history to follow that side of it very well.

Edited by Tyler

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Posted · Report post

Thanks for the review. This has been in my Netflix queue for a while now (being a Film Movement release and all), but every time it pops up, it's usually late in the evening and my wife and I wonder if we're up for what looks like a very dark movie set in Croatia. But this review makes it sound very promising.

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