Orchestra is the latest International Feature submission from Slovenia. The film focuses on a large group of band members who head on a road trip from their small town in Slovenia to Austria as their tour begins. The film focuses on one night in their lives and the film is separated in four different stories.
The film begins with the bus driver, Rajko and his assistant, Emir, headed to pick up the entire band. They’re headed to Austria for the Harmonie Festival. Everyone is super excited to begin their road trip adventure, and to start drinking and partying. As they arrive to their destination and everyone gets settled into their hotel, the film begins to delve really closely into the lives of certain band members, and their families.
Director Matevz Luzar’s latest project is an excellent ensemble film, almost bordering a tragicomedy, as the movie slowly begins to reveal their lives, fears, burdens outside of their time as orchestra members. It’s interesting to see the differences that Luzar made with the younger members in the film and the older ones with the latter being drunk infused individuals, while the former are more subdued. The cinematography is absolutely stunning, being shot in black and white. As are the performances and music.
The film is bittersweet. There are elements that are extremely comedic but underneath it all it’s really tragic. A lot of the members are afraid of becoming unemployed and having to rely on the dole for survival. There’s infidelity, vandalism, betrayals, driving while impaired and more. Being on the road allows these individuals a chance to forget their reality and to let loose. Orchestra is a film portraying drinking as a way of escapism. Back home, a lot of these members face a tough life having kids to feed, families to support, in a village where opportunities aren’t always so great. Being able to perform together as a band, as an orchestra, is the highlight in their lives and it was beautiful to see them do what they do best.