3/4 (2017, Ilian Metev)

Opens with a boy named Niki playing with his school chums then coming home to bother his older sister Mila, who studies piano. This is Bulgaria, and she announces she’s going to Germany for school, so the rest of the movie feels like a countdown of the days she has left. The movie keeps focusing on something other than where the action or dialogue is, splintering conversations, not bringing the family (Niki, Mila and their dad – mom is mentioned but never seen) together visually until a nature hike at the end. Played in Rotterdam’s Bright Future section with Cocote.

Jordan Cronk in Cinema Scope:

The film’s musically inflected title seems to nod as much to three-quarter time as it does a fractured family unit … There’s … an effortless sense of family dynamics that feels organic and speaks fully to Metev and co-writer Betina Ip’s command of character and commitment to the quotidian moments that shape everyday life. There are no antagonists in 3/4, let alone villains––no dark or sadistic undercurrents meant to reflect contemporary Europe’s fraught sociopolitical temperament. By almost every conceivable tonal and stylistic metric, the film feels utterly removed from whatever continues to pass for serious international art cinema.

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