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  • Brandon MacMurray

Istina (Truth) Review

Istina (Truth) dir. Tamara Denić, Hamburg Media School, Germany

Recently, the world has seen an escalation of violence and polarization both politically and socially. This rise in violence and rage is often directed towards those who aim to reveal the truth, like journalists. The essential role of a journalist is to investigate and explain society's hypocrisy, and in turn, curb fascisim and extremism with truth.

Directed by Tamara Denić and produced at the Hamburg Media School, Istina (Truth) narrates the story of Jelena (Nika Rozman), an investigative journalist who is covering the insurgence of right-wing groups taking over Belgrade streets. When Jelena’s headquarters suffer a terrorist attack, she's forced to flee from Serbia with her daughter Lara (Milica Vuksanovic) to Germany.

The volatile situation Denić describes is not exclusive to East-Europe, a truth she acknowledges. Germany also faces the provocation of extremists. Although the main focal point may be an organization of hate, Istina has also an important discussion about free speech and safe work environment the press must have to do their work properly. As portrayed in the documentary “Endangered” by Heidi Ewing & Rachel Grady, the press in the 2000s had a different conflict to face - the rise of the Internet. The Internet allows for the dissemination of information (and misinformation), enables far-right groups organizations, and makes it far easier to attempt to intimidate members of the press.

Aside from the central debate of the film, Istina delivers a gripping narrative that uses its 28 minutes to develop a tense yet emotional story. The plot centers on Jelena and Lara's relationship and demonstrates Jelena's focus on protecting her daughter, while defending her passion for journalism.

Cinematography-wise, the shots of the city's streets feel dense, and lighting is used to create a constant sense of danger and looming threat of violence. Nika Rozman and Milica Vuksanovic's solid acting performances make the story even more compelling and emotionally resonant.

Istina serves as a commentary of the recent extremism that has taken over not only Europe, but the world at large. Istina is a finalist for the Live-Action category of the Student Academy Awards and qualified for the 2024 Oscars.

Review by: Pedro Lima



The short end of the stick: The inferior part, the worse side of an unequal deal

When it comes to cinema and the Oscars it always feels like short films and getting the short end of the stick. Lack of coverage, lack of predictions from experts and an afterthought in the conversation. With this site we hope to change that, highlighting shorts that stick with you, predictions, and news on what is happening in the world of shorts. 

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