Brutally compelling study of human trafficking

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Overall rating:

Score 4


Spare Parts


A companion piece to In This World and Dirty Pretty Things, director Damjan Kozole tackles the issue of human smuggling, from the point of view of the traffickers rather than their human cargo. Its setting is Krsko, a grim municipality in Slovenia that’s stained toxic brown and plays home to the country’s only nuclear processing plant?a potent metaphor for the decaying infrastructures and crippled economies at the heart of the problem.

Former speedway champion Ludvik Zajc (Peter Musevski) is the town hero, now reduced to smuggling immigrants through to Italy and stoking his own faltering mythology by constantly recounting tales of past glories. Kozole does an impressive job of humanising reprehensible characters like Ludvik and his apprentice Rudi. And, more unexpectedly, the brusque friendship that develops between these two lonely deadbeats, in their twilight world of sodium-lit diners and cheap lives, proves to be genuinely affecting.