Spare Parts Review

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One-time speedway champion Ludvik’s life falls apart and leaves him with few means of survival, so he turns to smuggling


Michael Winterbottom chronicled the miseries and uncertainties of the illegal immigrant in his sobering In This World — but there are two sides to every story, and Damjan Kozole attempts to put the case for the people-traffickers in this surprisingly humane study of a Slovenian smuggler operating on the Croat-Italian border.

Kozole doesn’t deny that the rackets are largely controlled by exploitative criminals addicted to easy money and abusive power. However, by revealing how one-time speedway champion Ludvik’s (Musevski) life fell apart and left him with no other means of survival, Kozole intimates that there are victims on both sides. It’s a contentious approach and several episodes strain our sympathy, but by leaving us uncertain whether Ludvik’s rookie partner, Rudi (Kovacic), will retain his initial compassion, Kozole highlights the desperation that characterises our times.