PRESS AFTER SLOVENIAN RELEASE
It is good to see a Slovenian film finally focusing on problems other than the middle class lovers’ quarrels. It is great that Möderndorfer took advantage of the documentary moment and shot a part of the film during the protests against the social elites in Ljubljana. …. I understand it as Möderndorfer’s provocation, which should pour some urgently needed gasoline on the exhausted embers, the remains of the uprising two years ago. This is its invaluable contribution.
Špela Barlič, Pogledi, 24 September 2014
Despite a hellish story the film Inferno is heavenly beautiful. It certainly will not encourage you to nibble on popcorn and drink Coke. Because this film stirs up anger. Sympathy. It cuts deep. And it offers an opportunity for change.
Urška Krišelj Grubar, Jana, 16 September 2014
It is probably not very surprising that during the long lasting economic crisis, neoliberal deconstruction of the social state, increasing greed and arrogance of the ruling elites that keep appropriating all of the wealth of this world as well as the increasing misery of the majority of the population, there is a lack of films willing to focus seriously on the actual troubles of the so called average people, for example precarious workers or the unemployed and their families. Such “heroes” are, to put it cynically, uninteresting, since due to their very situation they do not quite understand the perverse logic of the developments that are ruining their life, let alone participate in them actively. However, these very “small” dramas of theirs uncover the whole depth and actual dimensions of the crisis, which films – at least Slovenian films – are somehow incapable of registering. This is why Inferno, a dark social thriller by the director and writer Vinko Möderndorfer, is an achievement worthy of attention, a film which allegorically sums up the overlooked or untold dimension of the crisis of modern capitalism, and it strikes directly where it hurts the most.
Bojan Kavčič, Stop, 24 September 2014
Therefore I would not be surprised if tomorrow somebody told me that the film Inferno – regardless of how unbelievable or radical its story is – was based on true events. Artists respond differently to the world they create in. Thus for me the question of “why” is more relevant in the arts than “appropriateness”. When judging a work I therefore prefer to focus on what the author wants to reveal and how he does it. In this regard Möderndorfer’s intentions are crystal clear. On one hand this is a desperate “call of the heart”, and on the other hand it is a film that intentionally upsets and excites the viewers. It is an angry film, by no means ambiguous. Due to the way of how Inferno depicts all of this I believe that it is a work, perfected in all the aspects: direction, production, script, photography, scenography… and of course acting are all far above average. Marko Mandić once again proves that he is an extraordinary world class actor, who easily qualifies among the best in the world of modern film.
Koen Van Daele, Delo, 7 October 2014
A dark drama about a working class family, impoverished (and worse) by unemployment; about the society morally devastated by economic cynicism; and about how the more individuals struggle to survive, the more they are rendered inconsequential. Inferno keeps going overboard: it is a slow and unavoidable descent into a tunnel where all the lights are being turned off. Nevertheless, the film is not depressing, at least not in the impressive or pathological sense: Inferno is lucidly depressing, in so far as it provides a focused insight into the today’s state of social affairs.
Zdenko Vrdlovec, Dnevnik
It is a challenging, astonishing film, actually – in the social and emotional sense as well as due to its politically extreme narrative structure. It is undoubtedly the most depressing and dark film ever shot by Slovenians, and we would also have a hard time finding anything comparable even if we looked far and wide for it. After Suburbs (2004) and Landscape No. 2 (2008), Möderndorfer remains loyal to his logic of revealing the examples of Slovenian social trauma uncompromisingly.
Peter Kolšek, Delo, 15 September 2014
Film critics wrote that Inferno by the director Vinko Möderndorfer is the darkest film ever shot by Slovenians, the first and only one dealing with the crisis. … Perhaps it is too black, as it certainly does not strive to please anyone. However, it succeeds in making the viewers ask themselves – after a depressingly final ending, because now they know that Inferno actually exists, that such hell exists, here and now: why don’t I help? Could it happen to me as well? And if it happens, what would I do if I ended up in hell myself?
Dušan Malovrh, Slovenske novice, 16 September 2014
A film about people pushed into poverty, who are all around us, whether we admit it or not.
Marjana Vovk, Svet 24, 11 September 2014
The demonisation of the “monster” impersonated by Jernej Šugman is practically perfect.
Bojan Kavčič, Stop, 24 September 2014
The film Inferno by Vinko Möderndorfer will remain noted for its extremely radical depiction of the neoliberal dehumanisation and economic crisis.
Valentina Plahuta Simčič, Delo, 7 October 2014
… unlike the other Slovenian filmmakers Vinko Möderndorfer at least addressed the crisis. It is obvious what would have happened had he not done that: otherwise in a hundred years the people, when they watch the films made by Slovenians in these last five or six years, would have felt as if the severe crisis never happened in Slovenia.
Marcel Štefančič, jr., Mladina, 12 September 2014
The film is an implicit allegory of reality, which it depicts in a naturalist style. However, if we notice how the scenes refer to fine arts and see the lines of the increasing suspense, emphasised with a few visual shocks as well as a clear and honest political intention, we see that Inferno is a consistent dystopia. Möderndorfer depicts a situation produced by the society reconciled with poverty. Thus all of the “exaggeration” in the film has a dramatic and aesthetic function. And today aesthetics is unavoidably (powerlessly) political.
Darko Štrajn, Delo, 7 October 2014
From all this we can discern that Inferno is, of course, not a work in which the author would deliberate on some abstract struggle between good and evil, but a film that reveals simply and effectively how for certain individuals even everyday life can be a kind of hell.
Denis Valič, Pogledi, 10 September 2014
The deprivation of the social bottom frequently manifests itself in the retreat from the society. We simply do not see these unfortunates and we do not meet them, because they have retreated into their own worlds where they keep experiencing the worst pain. How many Slovenians today live in fear that their electricity, water and heating will be turned off because they cannot pay the bills? How many have finally been evicted? … Inferno is infernal precisely due to the merciless and constant deterioration of the situation. The viewers may wish that the unyielding pressure of the dramatic distress would let up for just a second, to recover their breath and see at least a glimmer of hope in all the misery. However, the director does not yield: the situation gets worse and worse, and it is just like the South African Nobel Prize winner John M. Coetzee puts it in his novel Disgrace: “One gets used to things getting harder; one ceases to be surprised that what used to be as hard as hard can be grows harder yet.” Möderndorfer also keeps pushing his protagonist ever deeper, ever lower, from one circle of hell to another, until the last second. … In this sense Möderndorfer’s Inferno is a shockingly topical film. It is an x ray of the Slovenian transition which has never concluded… In fact a certain kind of inferno is already taking place, and it has been among us for the last few years. The question is only in which circle we are now and what is still ahead of us.
Dejan Steinbuch, Finance, 13 September 2014
In the circumstances of the general alienation, atomised individuals, inefficiency of the certain institutions representing the system, lack of information about the possible alternative possibilities for survival, power of big capital and “small parasites” – those who make a “profitable” living by cruelly abusing and exploiting the people on the bottom – Marko’s “almost eternal” optimism fails to yield any results. The film is not beautiful, just as this world is not beautiful. Inferno calls for the awakening of something human in the viewers, wishing that the lives of actual people would not often become as hopeless as the fate of the film characters. In this sense I see the film as an appeal to us individually and us as a society to wise up and take our destiny in our own hands.
Milica Antić Gaber, Delo, 7 October 2014