The winning film of Visions du Réel’s Burning Lights Competition is an unexpectedly fresh experimental documentary. The first feature-length film by Bosnian-Dutch director Stefan Pavlović, Looking for Horses tells the intimate story of an unlikely friendship that also deals with identity, communication and language, with war looming in the background. Pavlović is the son of Bosnian parents who grew up in the Netherlands and Canada. During one of his visits to his grandmother in a village near the Montenegrin border, he stumbled upon Zdravko, a middle-aged man with lines on his face as deep as if they belonged to a much older person. Over the next two and half years, he kept coming back to film their growing friendship. — With occasional flashes of humour, a lot of spirit and emotion, Looking for Horses — is an original and very touching piece of art from a filmmaker who is not afraid to bare his own insecurities, fears and doubts.
Vladan Petković, Cineuropa
Stefan Pavlović’s gentle, thoughtful documentary captures the growing bond between the filmmaker and a solitary fisherman living in the aftermath of the Bosnian conflict. — [It’s] a touching tale reflecting on the difficulties of communication and the legacy of trauma. — Zdravko’s deafness means that he frequently fails to hear a question. Pavlović has a faltering command of Bosnian and a stutter. — We witness a connection blossom as the two men fish, sail on the lake and talk of the wild horses that are said to roam nearby.
Allan Hunter, Screen Daily