Berlin prizewinner An Episode in the Life of an Iron Picker out on BFI Player from 25 April

Oscar-winning Bosnian director Danis Tanovic’s latest film, a family drama about a father’s desperate race against the clock to fund a vital operation for his wife, gets a same-day release in cinemas and on the BFI Player.

An Episode in the Life of an Iron Picker (2013) trailer

Following two prizes and much acclaim at the 2013 Berlin Film Festival, the latest drama from Oscar-winning Bosnian director Danis Tanovic will arrive on the BFI Player on 25 April, the same day it’s released in cinemas.

An Episode in the Life of an Iron Picker won Berlin’s Jury Grand Prize and the award for best actor. It tells the story of a Roma family living in a remote part of Bosnia-Herzegovina. While the father, Nazif, salvages metal from used cars to sell on as scrap, his wife Senada looks after their two young daughters at home. She’s expecting a third child, but when there is a problem with her pregnancy, Nazif is forced to try to raise the money required by the hospital for the necessary operation.

Since winning the Oscar for best foreign language film for 2001’s war film No Man’s Land, director Tanovic has contributed a segment to the 9/11 memorial film 11’09”01 September 11 (2002), directed Hell (2005) from Krzysztof Kieślowski’s script, and filmed the photojournalism drama Triage (2009), starring Colin Farrell, Paz Vega and Christopher Lee.

Acclaimed by Hollywood Reporter as “a universal human story at heart, a bleakly compelling family drama with a coldly furious edge of political protest”, An Episode in the Life of an Iron Picker finds the director filming in his Bosnian homeland again, with non-professional actors enacting the drama of their own lives.

“The intention behind it,” says Tanovic, “is to show the discrimination minorities have to deal with in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Roma communities in particular. Is it possible that 15 years after the war – in which I witnessed unbelievable bravery and devotion on a daily basis, in which people risked their lives to help a stranger in need – we live, today, in a society that turns its head away from the socially unprivileged and behaves as if it could not see the horror that surrounds it. No system is inhumane as long as there are good people among us.”

The BFI Player is available on desktop, android devices, iPads and iPhones.

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