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TIFF 2019 Film Review: “Easy Land” (2019) ★★★★

Nina Kiri as Nina and Mirjana Jokovic as Jasna in Easy Land. Photo courtesy of Endgame films.

What happens when you make a bold move of leaving the country you once called home to travel to a new one? Carrying a dream in mind to start an exciting chapter of life which would be much easier and flawless than it was before? Those who are born in an already well-established society will never be able to understand the struggle newcomers endure every day – the family day celebrations with no one to celebrate, the dream job they never got, and so much more. So, how easy is the land which says is ready to fulfill people’s needs when it’s actually not? “Easy Land” from writer and director Sanja Zivkovic, is a good exploration of immigrants who want to build a better future which won’t be possible without a healthy mind.

Set in modern-day Toronto, the film follows Serbian immigrants Jasna Djordjevic (Mirjana Jokovic) and her daughter, Nina (Nina Kiri). Struggling with her mental illness, not being able to pay her rent but extremely talented Jasna, who used to specialize in building structures, meets Greg (Daniel Kash), who promises to help her with her idea if she can present him a project she herself could work on. As the woman embarks herself on building a prototype of Easy Land, her mind is not getting any easier or settling, as it becomes difficult both for her and daughter to integrate into the new society they don’t completely feel welcome in.

Immigrants with high education come to the new country to work as interns, do overnight shifts at a bread factory but when it comes to looking for a job after working their entire lives in their home country, they are always told, “You do not have local experience.” While the film does not question Jasna or Nina’s ability to integrate into the new society, it’s their relationship that turns into hardship and a test both women must pass. And that’s the trademark of “Easy Land” – no matter where we are, in what country and the problems we face, talking to our loved ones, understanding their needs, and working together for a better future is a success no country, Canada or USA, can provide without the attempt of those who want to build a new home called Easy Land.

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