Croatia / US, 2012 , 46'
Around 2007, a rumour spreads that a big building project is being prepared for the centre of Zagreb: the government has signed an agreement with a group of private investors, to allow them to build a garage in Zagreb’s centre. When the citizens protest, the government changes the law. One night, without warning, the building begins. The citizens erect tents in the square, to stand guard against further attempts to start the illegal construction. After ignoring them for weeks, the decision-makers promise a legal resolve of the situation. Two weeks after the people have left the square, the constructions begin. A few months later, when the garage is ready, many Croatians declare that they feel disappointment but they no longer feel surprised: this is how things work in Croatia.
Democracy or plutocracy? is the question at the heart ofSteven Ellis’s documentary, which, completed just before Croatia’ accession to the EU, traces the rise of its kleptocratic ruling class. Are the mechanisms available within the European Union able to determine Croatia and the other countries from the region to control their rampant corruption and to annihilate their networks of power?
The screening of the film will be part of the debate KLEPTOCRACY.
AWARDS AND FESTIVALS
Zagrebdox International Documentary Film Festival, Croatia, 2013