Trigrad (Slovenia): the forbidden and inscrutable forest

The dismemberment of the former Yugoslavia greatly weakened its audiovisual power by dividing it into seven small production units that always have fewer resources separately. In the past we have talked about Croatian and Serbian series, the two most powerful countries after the decomposition, but today I have the pleasure of opening the locker of Slovenian series with ‘Trigrad’, a very recent release that allows me to erase another culture and language from my to-do list.

‘Trigrad’ is a forest thriller very much in the vein of Scandinavian ‘nordic noir’ that takes us to Trigrad, a small isolated village in the Julian Alps, whose impenetrable forest harbors many secrets and many disappearances of tourists who have gone into it and of which nothing has ever been heard again, forming the central mystery that unfolds over eight chapters.

File: Trigrad 8 ep 45 m May-jun 2022. Idiom: Slovenian String: RTVSLO (SLO) / Unreleased (E)

The plot : Ćrta is a school building architect who returns to his hometown of Trigrad from which he left thirty years ago, never to return. The reason is the death of his father with whom he had no contact and with the intention of selling his assets, which include a large family mansion and an important part of the surrounding forests.

The arrival of Ćrta, the foreigner and prodigal son, is going to reopen many wounds from the past as he reunites with old friends and loves of youth who fear that this sale could cause great changes in a wild and privileged environment that they are trying to preserve.

The first surprise that Ćrta gets is to find only her father’s tombstone in the local cemetery but without any trace of her mother Nada, who died many years ago without anyone in the town knowing where she is buried.

This search for the remains of his mother will lead our protagonist to enter the impenetrable forest that surrounds his mansion and that contains many of the answers, including elements of ‘magical realism’ to all the enigmas raised.

His main personal relationships in this search are with the two women who have a dominant position in the town, on the one hand Jasna (Katarina Stegnar, left) the woman who controls all the springs of the town and wants to avoid at all costs that the possible sale of the mansion and the forest turn his peaceful village into a hyper-developed tourist park at the cost of losing its essence.

On the other hand we have Meta ( Suzana Krevh, center ) who followed a similar path to Ćrta ( Marko Mandić), returning to Trigrad after her mother’s death to take charge of the village inn and who represents the young generation of urbanites. that collide with the ancestral customs of the area.

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‘Trigrad’ has an interesting premise, but the development is excessively parsimonious and languid, as its young creator and director Sonja Prosenç (top photo) recreates herself excessively in very long shots of landscapes and views, with many minutes with hardly any dialogue and that sometimes seemed an episode of ‘Slovenia from the air’ more than a fictional series, as you can see in the official trailer.

I must admit that the landscapes and photography are beautiful and the actors are quite competent, especially the leading couple formed by two famous Slovenian actors Marko Mandić and Katarina Stegnar, but a little more narrative verve would have suited the final result much better.

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In my case, the curiosity to learn more about the particularities of the Slovenian language and culture has satisfied me, but on an artistic level it is below other fictions from the former Yugoslav republics such as the Serbian ‘Senke nad Balkanom’ or the Croatian ‘Novine’.

We await your opinions and comments, here or on our twitter account (@lmejino). Until next time

Lorenzo Mejino

Trigrad (Slovenia): the forbidden and inscrutable forest – Series for gourmets