God Exists, Her Name Is Petrunya
Original title:
Gospod postoi, imeto i'e Petrunija
Slovenian title:
Bog obstaja, ime ji je Petrunija
Country, year:
Macedonia, Slovenia, Croatia, Belgium, France, 2019
Directed by:
Teona Strugar Mitevska
Virginie Saint Martin
Olivier Samouillan
Voting code:
Zorica Nuševa (Petrunija), Labina Mitevska (Slavica), Simeon Moni Damevski (policijski inšpektor), Suad Begovski (duhovnik), Violeta Šapkovska (Vaska), Stefan Vujisic (mladi policist), Xhevdet Jasari (snemalec), Andrijana Kolevska (Blagica)
Berlinale 2019 (Prize of the Ecumenical Jury), Edinburgh 2019, Sydney 2019

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A story about a 32-year-old girl with no real prospect of a future who goes against tradition and defiantly exposes contemporary Macedonian machismo and sexism.
'Tell them you're 24', advises Petrunya's mother as her daughter heads off to another interview. But Petrunya is 32; moreover, she has studied history, a subject that no one in Macedonia seems to need. So, there she sits in front of her potential employer, a factory owner, who looks down on her floral dress and refuses to take her seriously. On her way home Petrunya decides to take the plunge. It is Epiphany and, like every year, the young men of the city are diving for the holy cross that the priest has thrown into the icy river. This time, Petrunya is quicker than everyone else and ends up holding the trophy aloft for the TV cameras. For one whole day and one night, she will defend the cross, accompanied by much public commotion and against the closed ranks of the male world.

"/.../ Petrunya's essence is self-realisation. This is her growth. Everything begins quite innocently. We first see her as a girl with no ambition or plans, more insecure than self-confident. But she leaves the police station as a self-reliant woman. As someone willing to change the world. I find it important that future generations, mainly young women, gain a healthy measure of confidence. We the women have to know that we can." (Teona Strugar Mitevska)