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Two teenagers learn you don't have to be in love to break someone's heart in this drama. Seventeen-year-old Lina (Hallie Switzer) visits her mother's family in Modra, Slovakia every summer, but she finds herself facing the prospect of making the trip by herself when her boyfriend abruptly breaks up with her. At the last minute, Lina invites Leco (Alexander Gammal), a boy in her class, to join her; she thinks he's cute, and he's in the market for a girlfriend, so the two set out for Modra. While Lina's family assume the two are an item, it soon becomes obvious to Lina and Leco that they don't share much beyond a return ticket, but that doesn't keep Leco from feeling hurt and betrayed when Lina steps out with a boy she's just met. Modra was written and directed by Ingrid Veninger, who previously distinguished herself as a producer. … More
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Critic Reviews for Modra
The result is what every indie director strives for -- an emotionally true movie that looks like it cost about 10 times its actual budget.
Nothing wrong with making an audience do some imaginative work, but hell, not all the work.
That the director's Slovakian relatives appear in background roles as members of Lina's extended clan gives MODRA the feeling of a home movie, but it's more accurate to say that this is personal filmmaking of a refreshingly modest stripe.
An intimately scaled and emotionally vivid study of two young people forging a connection.
Audience Reviews for Modra
What a wonderful little film this is. Director Ingrid Veninger channels a Sofia Coppola sensibility, turning Modra into a "Lost in Translation in Slovakia."
Modra differs from Coppola's masterpiece in that it focuses less on universal disconnect than on youth adolescence and their search for identity. The two main characters, Lina and Leco are both 17 years old. Lina's boyfriend has just broken up with her, 24 hours before they are supposed to leave for Slovakia. Before she has time to grieve, she gets a call from Leco, a boy she briefly met at a party. He's just as confused and lonely, almost desperate to find someone to hang out with for the summer. Lina invites Leco to accompany her on her vacation and he accepts. The scene is executed remarkably well, the camera holding on the teens' faces, the awkward silences of the conversation, capturing everything that is being said and not said.
The film plays out like a love letter to Slovakia, but not as a travel video. It celebrates the country as part of this girl's heritage. Lina's search for her cultural identity mirrors her search for a personal identity. She meets her extended family and learns why her parents left for Toronto so many years ago.
Along the way, her friendship with Leco buds into a romance. Their relationship takes them through periods of passion, anger, and hope. Both teens have their own personal demons, and unlike so many romance films, Modra knows that these anxieties can't be resolved simply through love. But knowing that they've made a special connection with each other makes confronting those anxieties that much easier.
Modra might not be an easy film to find, but it is worth checking out should you get the chance. It is a great example of how the quality of Canadian film has risen substantially in this new decade.
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