Stojan might be stuck in a dead end job as Serbia adjusts to a post-Soviet economy. His daughter might not have the newest, coolest shoes, and the refugee crisis is on everyone’s lips. But he is happy, respected by his neighbours, and loved by his wife. One night a mirror shatters, and Stojan finds himself with a glowing neon halo above his head that cannot be pulled, shooed, threatened, or prayed away. Is it a miracle, or is Stojan just a fool? 

Heavens Above (Nebesa) follows several characters, principally Stojan and his growing daughter, from 1993 to 2026 as the remnants of communism, re-invitation of Christianity, and emergence of populist and pagan traditions change and challenge a fraught, fictionalised Serbia. With culture and community distorted through a half-humorous, half-horrifying mirror, the film finds much laughter and unease through the contradictions and ironies of belief. And the film argues that this belief is crucial to existence. Its misplacement, however, can be deadly. 

Heavens Above is slightly let down by its glut of material and thematic exploration; by the film’s conclusion, earlier scenes which advance characterisations feel entirely discarded in favour of the bigger picture. Unfortunately, if this does not serve the people who drive it forward, this picture feels lifeless. Goran Navojec’s central performance, however, is perfectly calibrated for each tonal shift. Playing into pathos and menace equally convincingly, and in the exact absurd measure required to drive stakes higher, the film loses its spark when he is absent. 

Like the apocryphal (and accepted) miracles of early Christianity, the situations of Stojan and his companions defy physics and mortality, yet their logic begs to be accepted. Heavens Above is as sprawling and ambitious as these early doctrines, and what it loses in clarity and cohesion it makes up for in bite.



CAST: Goran Navojec, Ksenija Marinković, Bojan Navojec, Milos Samolov, Nataša Marković, Sana Kostić, Radoslav Milenković

DIRECTOR: Srdjan Dragojevic

WRITER: Srdjan Dragojevic

SYNOPSIS: After gaining a halo in a freak of nature, or perhaps divinity, Stojan finds himself the laughing stock and saint of his post-communist community.