Two themes arise from the story, themes that are interlocked: the theme of love and of man's eternal submission to traditional symbols. The director Zivko Nikolic continues his movie saga of human nature. Both themes d...展开evelop the mythical idea of temptation. It is basic human relation: from the intimate to the families' vying with each other.
A strong drama from Montenegro! "Iskusavanje djavola" is a strong and riveting drama that explores the Montenegrin culture from a negative point of view. The Zmajevichs and the Krstanovichs are two families who fight for the domination of their village. Everything is turned upside down when a long lost son of the Zmajevichs comes back and the conflict between the two families escalates to almost war. Mikan was given away by his parents to be raised with his uncle in USA. He therefore is bitter towards his father and in the beginning he introduces himself as Michael, the American tourist. Upon his arrival he finds out that his parents have already found a bride for him, but he chooses not to reveal his true identity to her and instead put her to a test of fidelity, a test that will bring forth tragedy.
It is a very grim and dark movie, with themes like vendetta, family honour, individualism vs traditions and even contains sodomy, which a deranged son of the Krstanovics practices. And of course, it serves to show how futile and useless family feuds can get. The things to enjoy here are the beautiful landscape shots of Montenegro and some dark and bizarre humour, especially from the second Zmajevic son Orle who is played well by Branko Vidakovic. All actors are solid and the direction is excellent. I would recommend this to fans of Italian directors like Bertolucci, Pasolini and Visconti. There is some romantic elements here as well, but ultimately this is not what this movie is about.