Mesto svetlobe

City of Light

  • Documentary TV Film
  • 69’
  • 2017
  • Slovenia

A well-established writer fights his family demons while the dreamers on top of the hill struggle with their health and hope for good fortune. A successful businesswoman has plenty of the latter; still, when her daughter's singing career takes off, she starts questioning her own professional choices. A nagging doubt is also tormenting an underwater construction worker, who wants to show his son a mysterious dark lake. This visually striking film is a subtle narrative, a love story between people and a fading city.

Director Marko Kumer
Awards 1 nomination
Director's statement

The documentary film about Šoštanj, the town which is located close to where I grew up, is not meant as a tribute to my childhood or as a continuation of engaged artistic actions I have implemented a

The documentary film about Šoštanj, the town which is located close to where I grew up, is not meant as a tribute to my childhood or as a continuation of engaged artistic actions I have implemented a few years ago to warn about the issue of a new section of a thermoelectric plant called TEŠ6. However, I guess no one can ever really shake off the images which marked their childhood, especially not when they were so impressive as the ones from the City of Light. For example, I remember early childhood, when the nearby hills had a brown ring made of dying trees, the aftermath of toxic air coming from the plant’s chimney. Later on, I found out that some photographs exist, showing trees that sank in the lake and they were full of slag, white as the snow in the wintertime. It came, again, from the thermoelectric plant. In my first year of school (named by the Partisan hero), I remember big cracks covering the walls of our classroom. They were there because our school was slowly but surely collapsing, a process caused by underground mining. Living in Šoštanj meant living in the world of skewed realism, ignored by the local people. This documentary is not about investigating political facts or suspicious millions on the bank accounts of ex CEOs of thermoelectric plants, millions for which they don’t have a proper explanation. This documentary is about entering into the worlds of people who are living in Šoštanj. We’re following four families, each of them with their own dreams and fears, all intertwined with a town and its power plant. The protagonists are throughout the film discussing key existential subjects (death, the feature of their children, family relationships, hopes, dreams...) and by that, they’re inevitably showing us, the viewers, the discrepancy between fragile human life and cold, technological, rational logic of the system. The inherent problem of today’s world, where it’s difficult to point out who the enemy is since the interests are always hiding behind the veil of liberal democratic doctrine. Something that appears humanely, necessary, or required for the welfare of the majority.

Writing

screenwriter

Direction

director

Production

producer
producer

Cinematography

director of photography

Music

music composer

Editing

film editor

Sound design

sound designer
sound recordist
sound recordist

production

Nominations
Iris Award
best cinematography
2018

Kategorija: dokumentarni film.

Eco Documentaries
2018
Competition Programme
2017
Competition Programme
2017
Newcomers
2017
Alternative title
City of Light (english)
Production countries
Slovenia
Languages
slovenian
Technical data
Aspect ratio
1,77:1 // 16:9
Duration and length
69 minutes
Colour
Colour
Sound
stereo
Screening formats
digital DCP
Budget

All financial information is obtained from official sources. I.e. producers or organizations which provided the financial support.

Budget estimate
69,484 EUR
Grants
40,000 EUR
public call / Production
2014

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