Private Project

A Two Way Mirror

“A Two Way Mirror” is the author’s personal quest for inner peace, taking place in the Croatian region of Lika, the remote land of her ancestors. There are many tunnels in Lika, and after each dark tunnel, filled with secrets, fear, darkness - all shown in organic, experimental images - a new season of the year awakens. The images of land, the people observed, a well of sounds heard and the guiding voice-over, complete the experience. While the director films amazingly magnetic and gruesomely cruel scenes of Lika, Lika forms an outline of her own self as she revisits experiences of her ancestors and her own experiences in a search for the key to accept her epilepsy and overcome the loss of four pregnancies and love.

  • Katarina Zrinka Matijević
  • Katarina Zrinka Matijević
  • Nenad Puhovski
  • Tamara Babun
  • Vjeran Hrpka
    Key Cast
  • Ana Štulina
    Key Cast
    Ana Štulin
  • Šumovi protiv valova
    Key Cast
  • Tomica Mladić, Filip Ledinšćak, Vedran Mažuranić, Ivan Zelić
    Key Cast
    Sound recording
  • Vesna Biljan Pušić
    Key Cast
    Sound editor
  • Ivan Zelić, Vesna Biljan Pušić
    Key Cast
    Sound design
  • Project Type:
    Documentary, Experimental, Other
  • Genres:
    poetic documentary, autobiography
  • Runtime:
    41 minutes 57 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    February 21, 2016
  • Country of Origin:
  • Country of Filming:
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • ZagrebDox Film Festival
    Zagreb, Croatia
    February 25, 2016
    Closed private screening for the crew, out of competition
  • Oktavijan Award for the Best Croatian Documenatry in 2016
  • Sarajevo Film Festival 2016
  • Liburnija Film festival
    Special Mention of the Jury; Best Cinematography (Vjeran Hrpka); Best Sound Design (Vesna Biljan Pušić, Ivan Zelić
  • DOKUart Bjelovar
  • Jihlava International Documentary Film Festival
    Czech Republic
  • Free Zone Blegrade
  • Mediterranean Film Festival Cannes
  • Festival dei Popoli
Distribution Information
  • Factum
    Country: Croatia
    Rights: All Rights
Director Biography - Katarina Zrinka Matijević

Katarina Zrinka Matijević was born in Zagreb in 1973. She obtained her degree in Film and TV Directing from the Academy of Dramatic Art and studied Philosophy and Comparative Literature at the Faculty of Philosophy, all at the University of Zagreb. So far she has directed and written fifteen documentary
and short fiction films. They were shown on festivals around the world. In 1998 Zrinka received “Goran”, the prestigious Croatian award for young poets. Later that year her first book of poetry was published under the title “Actually, I’m fine”.
Zrinka first drew attention to herself with her brilliant student film Duel that won awards at relevant student festivals (Munich and Tel Aviv). The film also won Jelena Rajković Award and Oktavijan Award, Grand Prix of the Days of Croatian Film. Her second documentary (co-directed with Nebojša Slijepčević), On Cows and Men (2000), leaning towards cinema vérité, was shown at the most important documentary film festivals in the world (IDFA in Amsterdam, Munich Documentary Film Festival, Bogota, Austin, Rhodes). In 2003, Zrinka directed the feature-length documentary Peščenopolis, produced by Factum. It is a bitter-sweet depiction of Peščenica, Zagreb’s poor and forgotten suburb, declared independent republic by its self-proclaimed president. In her new project, A Two Way Mirror, the author turns to her native Lika and, combining poetic self-observation and astonishing scenery of that region, tells us an old, and yet a totally new story.

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Director Statement

Giving your life story over to your directorial self is a magic process. Making this film was a completely new and unique experience. The film and I kept happening to each other without imposing, very often instinctively, but determined to get the maximum out of each other, with a tireless creative, professional and personal support of the hard-working and patient team.

As a film author I was well aware of the documentarist potential of my story, so strong and fragile at the same time; I felt its magnetic pull bringing out every letter to the surface of the paper, I knew exactly why and how it should be visualized. But as a protagonist I was constantly questioning whether this story should be told at all. Today, I am perfectly calm as both a documentary author and a protagonist because the film A Two Way Mirror and its every shot, cut, word and sound portrays me exactly as I am. And what am I?
For example, when I was I child I played a game: I would throw pebbles in holes, wells or caves and then listen carefully to hear that moment when the sound reveals what happened down in the dark. Sometimes the wells were shallow, other times they were deep, and sometimes they were abysses. My adult life has so far seemed like that.
Like throwing pebbles into the abyss. One morning, I finally decided to listen. This film is the answer from the abyss that is life itself.
I played this game in the mountain region of Croatia called Lika, the remote home country of my ancestors and my childhood. I revisit Lika to find my way back to the ease, the warmth, the securitiy. I go there to overcome fear of epilepsy, fear of losses, fear of loneliness. I find the much needed knowledge on how to do that in my family’s stories. And I learn that I can get used to the constant medication, to calling a husband with whom I mourned four unborn children, and endlessly love one daughter, an ex. In the end, I can get used to myself and my destiny. And in spite of all that is given, good and bad, I can find joy and heal my soul.