TorinoFilmLab - Training, development, Funding


Melting of the Ruler

Ivan Salatić, Jelena Angelovski



People are fighting an old enemy in the 19th century Montenegro. Morlak rules the free territory. Coal seller Jovo kills a wounded Turk and brings his head as a trophy to Morlak. He finds it repugnant and kicks Jovo out of his chambers. Jovo decides to take revenge by throwing the head to the pigs. In the morning, Jovo turns into a mummy.

Mara lives by the lake. Luka is a frog trader. They are in love, but Mara finds out that he is about to leave her. She wakes up delirious and tells the villagers about frogs overtaking the village. Luka is trying to take the frogs out of the village. Villagers intercept him and tie him up. Mara frees the frogs, which overrun the village.

Being gravely ill, Morlak travels to southern Italy to ease the sickness. His faithful companions fear his death in a foreign land. Djuko is the most ardent of Morlak’s men. Morlak and his new friend Ljubo enjoy spending days together. Djuko starts wishing to kill Ljubo. Ljubo continues his journey. Morlak is dying.


My intention is to create a possible view of the 19th century Mediterranean. The main character is inspired by 19th century ruler, bishop and poet Petar Petrović Njegoš, with a focus on the poetic and solitary side of his personality. I am interested in the conflict between that tender side of him and the circumstances in Montenegro during his time, which were cruel.

The film is divided into five segments, the first and the last represent a paraphrase of historical event. Then we move on to two stories, similar in their scope, each of them with its own protagonist fighting the prejudice and the superstition of their time. Then we have a story about Morlak, that is free from the limits of biographic portraiture, placing the focus on the characters surrounding the ruler and allowing the viewer to dive into the past, to imagine the flow of time of an ordinary person whose heart
and hours beat simultaneously with the history that will later be described in books or archival documents.

Untold stories of Montenegrin 19th century everyman and their beloved ruler Morlak.
Ivan Salatić

Jelena Angelovski


production notes

original title
Otapanje vladara

produced byMeander Film
Vuka Karadzica 6a
81400, Niksic

current financial need
€ 960.000