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3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Format: NTSC
  • Region: All Regions
  • Studio: Vanguard
  • DVD Release Date: June 30, 2008
  • Run Time: 100 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B001BXNB3I
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #798,653 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

Three beautiful young college girls embark upon a leisurely boat trip down the river Kolpa, dividing Slovenia and Croatia, at the outset of the Balcan war. They are being watched and followed by a political extremist group called the guardians of the frontier, and layears of social, political and historical differences boil to the surface. The trip takes on the mythical resonance of a fairy tale, only headed into the nightmare of war. Set in contemporary Europe, the film is reminiscent of Apocalypse Now and Deliverance.

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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Crossing Borders March 8, 2006
It's summer break in Slovenia, and three college students decide to get away from it all on a canoe trip down the Kolpa River, which separates Slovenia from Croatia. Alja (Tanja Potocnik), Simona (Iva Krajnc) and Zana (Pia Zemljic) are all happy to just float away and sunbathe topless.

It turns out to be a trip about crossing many different borders. Alja deals with pressures to be "normal" by marrying and having children. The naive Simona seems obsessed with finding a fairytale man, but is confronted by men in a different way when they visit a house on the Croatian side of the river. Their hosts are a gay couple, and she disapproves. She's also horrified when she sees Zana and Alja kissing. Zana is looking for love and pursues Alja throughout the trip.

Issues of nationality, tradition, urban versus rural "family" values, as well as sexism and homophobia are confronted as they are caught crossing the border illegally and then find themselves in a village of people much more aggressively traditional than their young, urban selves. When they are pursued by would be rapists, everything turns even darker.

Simona escapes into a fantasy world as she rejects her friends' more modern values. Zana and Alja finally make love, but it's unclear if Alja is interested in the relationship Zana craves.

This is the first Slovenian feature film directed by a woman (Maja Weiss). I have a feeling that many of the cultural references were lost on me, as the fantasy sequences were confusing. The political and social issues are quite fascinating though.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A promising debut June 12, 2008
"Guardian of the Frontier" is director Maja Weiss's debut film, and if it's anything to judge by, her future films are going to be well worth watching. "Guardian" has a lot of weaknesses--it's a bit overlong, it has so many subplots going on that the film seems patchworked at times, the editing is rough and abrupt in a few places, and segments of the fantasy sequence towards film's end are unintentionally funny (the fish/phallus scene in particular). But for all that, the film has several commendable features.

The acting is really quite good. The three young women leads--Iva Krajine (Simona), Tanja Potocnik (Alja), and Pia Zemjic (Zana) created complicated and engaging characters. Zana is the bohemian lesbian who feels stifled by her culture; Alja, the best friend for whom Zana has a heavy crush, is stifled in her relationship with an utterly conventional boyfriend; Simona, who has a secret and unhappy past, feels threatened by the quick change that's swept over much of Slovenia since the Balkan War.

The shifting of frontiers--between cultural and geographical points, feminism and patriarchy, conventional and unconventional intimacy, the old and the new, the urban and the rural, bohemia and bourgois--is the major theme of this allegorical film, symbolized throughout by the canoe journey the three women take down the Kolpa, the river that serves as an actual geographical frontier between Slovenia and Croatia. The message seems to be that frontiers can make us feel secure, but they can also encourage fear and hatred of the other, the person (or culture or way of loving: fill in the blank) on the other side of the frontier. As Simona discovers, even those on the "right" side of the frontier can be harmed rather than protected by it.
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1.0 out of 5 stars A waste of time December 20, 2011
Format:Amazon Instant Video
Eastern European motion picture facilities and film locations are attracting the world's film makers but their own film making capabilities are at a rudimentary level. "Guardians of the Frontier" is a case in point. Script, direction, acting, cinematography - all aspects of the film maker's craft are a full notch below where they should be for an internationally released project. I was attracted to the idea of this film. The potential for it to be an interesting, suspenseful movie was all in place but that potential was unrealized. Knowing this project had not been well received by the NF reviewers, I chose to take a chance. Considering that I'm usually not in step with the mainstream, I figured I might find something to like in spite of the negative reviews. In this case I was wrong. If you took the script for the film "Deliverance," gave it to a teenage wannabe movie maker with instructions to rewrite the story and make a movie with a camcorder, "Guardians of the Frontier" is not much better that what you would get. Pay attention to the reviews. This is not a film worth a time investment
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4.0 out of 5 stars "Meaning" in mythology October 25, 2011
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
While Kerry Walters has captured the essence of the story and layers of meaning very well, I continued to wonder about the "meaning" of the many evidently symbolical events in the film. Although there's nothing on the internet directly related to this aspect of the film itself, there is information on Slavonic mythology that helps one to penetrate the otherwise murky "meaning" of what happens. This information is taken from a website on "Slavic Mythology and Goddesses" [...]

The story is set along the Kolpa river. Kupala is "the Slavonic water mother who annually renews her virginity and vitality of nature with baptism. Her worshipers bathed themselves in rivers and purified their souls with the Dew of Kupala, gathered during the night of Her festival. The goddess of herbs, sorcery and sex, Kupala personifies the magical and spiritual power inherent in water, and Kupala's devotees worshipped her with ritual baths and offerings of flowers cast upon water. Since fire as well as water has powers of purification, her worshippers also danced around and leaped over huge bonfires."

Given this, we understand the symbolism of Simona's immersion in water (in the river, and later in the bathtub) and the symbolic "renewal of her virginity and vitality". The village festival, the bonfires, the image of refugees crossing over from one side to another now make sense. What to make of the lecherous, hypocritical politician? Tolko Bog znaet!

It is to be hoped that at some point someone can inform us about the locally-well-known show (probably on TV) which was such a delight to the girls and an embarrassment to the old man. Hvala!
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