Maja is angry that the first doctor clearly missed something that she can see on the x-ray, but their anger is held in, even as they begin to comprehend the seriousness of their son's condition. They have more reason to become angry when their son's girlfriend Tea (Veronika Mach) shows them a video of the attack, which is brutal and apparently unprovoked - not the harmless fight that Tomica has described. The police do not exactly leap into action when given the evidence - they also know the name of their son's attacker - and impatiently explain that the video is inadmissible and that there are "different procedures for minors". Indeed, Maja and Ivo are eyed with suspicion for not following the correct procedures and giving the police some unwanted paperwork to do.
Ivo has a moment where he realises how little he knows his son - he didn't even know he had a girlfriend - but there's no time for melodramatic clichés in Svilicic's These Are the Rules. Ivo and Maja have obeyed the rules, but life has not and the wry humour of their ordinariness gives way to something like dignity. Their love for their son and for each other is expressed in gestures rather than words: Maja's doting and Ivo's frank admiration of Tomica. Even when Ivo decides that he will take the law into his own hands, Ivo behaves totally in character, quietly plodding after his designated target.
The 71st Venice Film Festival takes place from 27 August to 6 September 2014. For more coverage, follow this link.