The Priest's Children
PROD Ivan Maloča
SCR Mate Matišić
CAM Mirko Pivčević
ED Sandra Botica Brešan
PROD DES Damir Gabelica
MUS Mate Matišić
PROD CO Interfilm Produkcija / Zillion Film
When a naïve Catholic clergyman tries to boost the birth rate among his Dalmatian island flock, his plan sparks a host of unintended consequences. This acerbic satire from director Vinko Brešan (who is known and loved at home for using humour to approach sensitive historical and cultural topics) is currently Croatia’s top-grossing production of the year.
Framed by scenes of a priest’s confession, the film tells the story of why Father Fabijan (Krešimir Mikić) winds up in a hospital bed. Fabijan recounts his complicated tenure as spiritual adviser on the picturesque island of Dnevnik, a spot where burials far exceed births. When he hears the confession of harbour-side kiosk vendor, Petar, whose pious wife believes that he is committing a sin by selling condoms, it sparks a brainstorm.
In the spirit of the Church’s stance on birth control, Fabijan decides to pierce the prophylactics that Petar sells. To make the plan more effective, Fabijan and Petar join forces with a crazed pharmacist willing to substitute vitamins for birth-control pills. Sure enough, the birth rate skyrockets and Fabijan’s church is chock-a-block with pregnant brides. As Bresan pokes fun at hot-button ethical issues in highly cinematic, jauntily paced fashion, the film’s tone smoothly shifts from blithe comedy to sardonic absurdity to melancholic irony…