April 12 – 20, 2024


Interview with Iva Radivojevic for evaluating Borders

Cyprus Film Days 2014

The beautiful world of Iva.

It’s Lilliputian. A little girl. You think she’s fragile …but when he starts talking to you, the words come out strong, confident and dynamic. He’s got a temper, he’s got a point of view, and you feel like they’re not the words of the air, for the sake of argument. No. The Iva Radivojevic, creator of the film Evaporating Boarders , which was screened last night at the Rialto theater, in the framework of the Festival “Cyprus Film Days” and will follow the public of Nicosia, tonight at Xena, Pallas, is a very interesting man and a very talented creator.

Written by Peggy spinel

In the workshop that preceded the screening, Iva explained to the audience who came to Gallery 55, how she managed to collect the amount needed to complete her film. He sat and talked calmly but very definitely. Confident. However you do it, such an attitude always impresses and in the case of hers, convinces. He knows what he’s talking about.

You feel the same way watching her movie. He knows the object he’s presenting. She has researched it and does not illustrate her own experience. The documentary evaluating Boarders film consists of five chapters. It gave me the impression it was the opticipation of a doctoral thesis. These chapters, as very aptly mentioned in the program of the festival are “deconstructed poetics with the research look and personal searches of the creator. Through the people the director meets, the film shed light on the experiences of asylum seekers in Cyprus. Originating from Yugoslavia, Iva Radivojevic investigates the effects of a great wave of immigration to the national identity of Cyprus, which is one of the easiest passages of access to the Fortress called Europe”.

The film began with the Limassol audience ready for this screening, but not exactly. I don’t think there’s an easy way to prepare yourself to see the raw face of the situation at home. What you believe in, compared to what you want to believe sometimes are the two different sides of the same coin and Iva shed light on the side that is hidden in the dark, about which few speak openly and not always with evidence.

The principle is smooth, narrative, it puts you in the picture, it gives you the opportunity to admire the wonderful filming, the photography, the technical elements that are worth applauding….and then boom! Then the testimonies get to you. The stories are troubling you, the conceit and the misinformation that some people have infused surprises you. A lady, during the discussion that followed the screening, thanked Iva for presenting her with a Cyprus that had never lived. Some really don’t believe, while others don’t know that this side exists. The magic of Iva’s is that all this is done in moderation. With a continuity and an awareness of what exactly is presented.

The questions that followed the screening provided the opportunity for Iva to unfold some elements of the rationale of conception, fulfillment and goal. Several viewers asked if in doing her research she learned about cases of immigrants helped by Carp, who embraced and supported them. Iva’s answer was yes, but how the balance is defined in a film is entirely subjective. Clearly you could include it, but it would be another movie. A movie that may exist at some point but would be another movie.

In my private conversation with Iva on Sunday morning, we started with this. By the expectations of the public. She was obviously concerned in the past with this question because her answer was immediate. He’s aware that everyone’s expecting something from the movie. But the movie is what it is.

She, an immigrant in Cyprus, had the experience. Making a flashback to her own past, and thinking of her own experience with that of the people for whom he speaks in the film, who are muslims, the majority of Palestinians from Iraq, realizes that there is a difference. This is another type of immigrant whose treatment is different. “There is so much aggression against them. Even my friends who live in New York, who may be homosexuals, feel this animosity. A minority against another minority. I couldn’t understand it and I felt the need to talk about it. When you feel personally touched by the subject you are dealing with, you are more committed to it”.

The personal interest, which is the motivation, needs to be separated from the personal perspective. For her, what she discovered during the film investigation, she was presented with another kind of immigrant. “I am from Wugoslavia and although for some, the Serbs are our brothers, there is a sign. The stereotype is that women from Eastern Europe are sex workers. So I had to eliminate what I knew or Biona and find something new. I didn’t try to convince myself that what I know is what it is. I wanted to prove to me, not that I’m right, but that I’m wrong.

An effort that was not particularly easy. Research in a country with our levels of transparency and bureaucracy is not particularly helpful in research into immigration and the conditions for dealing with immigrants. “There are different levels of knowledge. There’s gossip, there’s truth, there’s the altered truth, there’s the truth of politics. The reality is it was a mix-up, a tangle of information. Who was lying? who the truth? who had interests and Who? What is the law? what is its application; Very hard to get out. In the film there is this sense of confusion which concerns Benefits. They get six thousand euros a month? we’re showing this very confusion. The fact that a conversation can travel and determine the beliefs of a large portion of people. I don’t know. Surely if it were quieter, there would be no such aggression”.

The reception of the film at the festivals where it was hosted(Texas, Thessaloniki, Rotterdam, Cyprus) was very beautiful. In Thessaloniki in particular. Perhaps because it was the language, the intimacy, the subject, that they know firsthand, that they have analytical thinking. The reviews are very good. For Iva “regardless of the reception at festivals and good reviews, what I wanted was to create this film for Cyprus and the Cypriots. I would like to” speak ” to the Cypriot spectator. I’m not talking about Cyprus as “one of the others”. No, Cyprus is my home. Cyprus is the country where my family lives. What I wanted was to show a different reality from that experienced by the average Cypriot whose everyday life does not include this situation. If a man experiences this experience and transforms it into change, then the film becomes a success”.

I asked her what she enjoyed more than the trip the movie offered her. “The most beautiful part of this journey is the conversations with the world you know. The people you talk to, the people you talk to, the people you spend time with. You connect with people and everything has purpose”.

Her next project will be for Serbia. I ask her if she will seek funding through IdiGoGo as she did for the evening Boarders. She hopes that the good reviews of the present will ensure the funding of the missing, but even if it doesn’t, “when you’re passionate about something, you don’t need money. If you want it to happen, it will. I can’t worry about the money. This is the last one. They’ll be here. When I need them, they’ll come”.

I don’t know how to get to know the lovely Iva, so I’m gonna borrow the quote from W.E.B. Dubois”who shall let this world beautiful ?”