The Optimists. 2006. Serbia and Montenegro/Spain/Switzerland. Directed by Goran Paskaljevic

Pasklajevic, one of Europe's most respected filmmakers (and subject of a 2008 MoMA retrospective), fabricated this very dark comedy, his penultimate feature, as a riff on life in post-Milosevic Serbia and a wink to Dr. Pangloss's assertion in Voltaire's Candide that, despite appearances to the contrary, "All's for the best in this best of all possible worlds." In five separate episodes that share a slight narrative connection and a proclivity for the ridiculous, people who experience the very worst keep hoping for the very best. Somehow there is humor to be found in such outrageous expectations.

Organized by Laurence Kardish, Senior Curator, Department of Film.

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