No One's Child
No One's ChildOriginal Title: Ničije dete
Director: Vuk Ršumović
Serbia, Croatia | Serbian
Subtitles: Arabic and English
Eligible for Child Protection Award
When hunters find the abandoned boy soon christened Haris (Denis Muric) naked and filthy in Bosnian woods, he cannot speak or walk upright. He is as lupine as the wolf he is discovered with in Vuk Ršumović’s haunting, closely observed drama set during a united Yugoslavia's final years. Sent to a Belgrade orphanage, the young adolescent defies expectations that he will remain hopelessly feral as he makes tentative steps toward joining humanity. He even makes a friend in kind-hearted older teen Zika (Pavle Cemerikic) and finds a reluctant father figure of sorts in orphanage counselor Ilke (Milos Timotijevic).
But when Yugoslavia breaks apart, the blossoming civil war and accompanying ethnic tension threaten to derail what little security the teenager has. With its savage protagonist and assertion that the tale is based on a real-life incident, No One's Child can't help but bring to mind François Truffaut’s The Wild Child, but where that drama focused on attempts at social integration, the emphasis in Ršumović’s poignant tale is on the effect that simple human contact has on Haris’s emotional life and the threat war poses to that slender thread. The winner of the RaroVideo Audience Award at the 2014 Venice Film Festival, it is an assured, indelible directing debut for Ršumović, made all the more moving by Muric’s devastating portrait of vulnerable youth.