Spare Parts

Director: Damjan Kozole

In this brief but tense film (running around 85 minutes), former motorbike racer Ludvik spends his evenings smuggling illegal refugees from Croatia, across Slovenia and into Italy. When he takes on Rudi, a naïve newcomer and former fan from his racing days, the transportation of refugees begins to grow a bit more complicated as moral questions are raised in the treatment of the human cargo. Some people don’t survive the trip, some of Ludvik’s associates take advantage of the women and danger lurks at every turn as Ludvik informs his protégée that some of the immigrants smuggled into Italy end up drugged, killed and then mined as “spare parts” for medical usage. The film has much to say about the European union and is especially timely when viewed in America where border isses and immigration rights are currently on the front burner of American politics. The director is careful never to choose sides—to show both the despicable acts and the good achieved by the main characters and all points of view are shown. Environmental metaphors abound as well as the two main characters spend each day threatened by cancer fears (and indeed Ludvik has a recurring case) as, according to filmmovement, they “live in a rundown town, home to the only nuclear power plant in the former Yugoslavia.” The film is a tough one to watch but quite important, brave and one you won’t be able to shake for days afterward.