One of the most outstanding Bosnian films of the year, which has touched a deep chord with local audiences, Days and Hours, can truly be called a healing experience. After so many films about the siege of Sarajevo and war horrors in Bosnia-Herzegovina, it finally presents a vision of people moving on with their lives in the post-war period. Director Pjer Zalica, whose award-winning first film Fuse was also about Muslims living in Sarajevo, uses fine, gentle humor to describe these homey folk. The story (whose original title is Visiting Uncle Idriza) revolves around Fuke (Senad Basic´), a bumbling, heart-of-gold bachelor who crosses town to fix Uncle Idriza (Mustafa Nadarevic´) and Aunt Sabira's (Senka Sokolóvic-Bertok) water heater. As they talk, he discovers that Uncle Idriza can't get over his son's death in the war, or stomach the idea of his daughter-in-law remarrying. Zalica makes us understand it's one of those close-knit families where everyone's opinion matters enormously. Though there's very little in the way of action, the film brilliantly describes the close relations that still bind people in the old Muslim neighborhood. In his plodding way, Fuke becomes instrumental in restoring family harmony. The feeling of community is so persuasively presented that the initially nosey, gossipy neighbors morph into a larger family. Instead of tears and regrets, the story evolves into a festive celebration of life in an exuberant finale underlined by Sasa Losic´'s rousing music, which leaves audiences laughing along with the characters.
Born in Sarajevo in 1964, Pjer Zalica graduated from the Academy of Performing Arts in Sarajevo. He is the writer and director of numerous TV shows and documentaries, producer of several short films, and a professor of directing at the Academy of Performing Arts in Sarajevo. His 2004 film Gori Vatra, or Fuse, won numerous awards, including the Silver Leopard at the 56th Locarno International Film Festival, the Audience Award for Best Feature Film at the 9th Sarajevo Film Festival, and the Golden Star at the 3rd Festival International du Film de Marrakech. His other films include the short The End of Unpleasant Times and the documentaries Mostar Sevdah Reunion and Children Like Any Others.