Lea and Darija

view in croatian
  • 2011
  • DCP, 35 mm
  • color
  • biography, drama
  • Orig. Title: Lea i Darija

This biographical film is based on the true story of Lea Deutch and Darija Gasteiger, the leading performers in the smash-hit show The Children’s Realm at the Croatian National Theatre during WWII. Lea, nicknamed "the Croatian Shirley Temple", is an immensely popular and talented actress and dancer. Her chief rival is the theatre’s other big rising star, Darija. Lea is Jewish, while Darija is of German descent. The war separates their destinies forever. One girl’s story ends in a wagon to Auschwitz. The other girl survives thanks to a refugee wagon to Vienna. Lea and Darija is the affecting true story of two thirteen-year-old girls who, on the eve of WWII, are enjoying great fame as dancing and acting stars in Zagreb. Their show is a sell-out success; they receive brilliant front-page reviews from the Croatian and European press; and they are filmed by Parisian Pathé and Berlin’s UFA. The film takes place against the backdrop of the Nazi persecution of Jews and German nationals’ flight from communists after the war. It explores how a dramatic friendship is born through entertainment, dance, and anxiety and ultimately, how this friendship leads to a surprising and unexpected conclusion

Director
Branko Ivanda
Screenplay
Branko Ivanda
Cinematography
Mirko Pivčević
Editing
Marin Juranić
Art Direction
Ivo Hušnjak
Costume Design
Barbara Bourek
Music
Alfi Kabiljo
Cast
Klara Naka, Tamy Zajec, Zrinka Cvitešić, Sebastian Cavazza, Linda Begonja, Vedran Živolić, Ana Vilenica, Radovan Ruždjak, Branko Završan
Producer
Lidija Ivanda
Production
Ars Septima
Co-production
Hrvatska radiotelevizija (HRT), Zagreb film (HR), ArtRebel9 (SI)

Branko Ivanda (1941) has been a film director for over 40 years: his work includes tv feature films, series and dramas, musicals and documentary shows, as well as theatre productions. In addition, he writes screenplays and essays and occasionally directs commercials. He has directed five theatrical feature films: Gravity, or Fantastic Youth of Boris Horvat the Clerk (1968), Court Marshal (1978), A Crime in School (1982), The Horseman (2003), and Lea and Darija (2011). His tv and big-screen feature films have been shown at many domestic and international festivals.

Croatian film catalogue

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