Well-off fifty-year-old Milena lovingly performs her traditional tasks as a wife and mother in an upper-class suburb of Belgrade. Her quiet life gradually comes to an end when she discovers a gloomy secret from her husband's past and at the same time learns that she is ill.
A Good Wife is the debut film of much-acclaimed Serbian actrice Mirjana Karanović, who won the Golden Bear at the 2006 Berlin Film Festival for her role in Grbavica and was nominated for an Oscar for the same film. Apart from directing the film, Karanović also plays the title role of 'good wife' Milena.
For fifty-year-old Milena life seems to be uncomplicated and clearly delimited. She takes pleasure in performing her traditional tasks as a mother and housewife, has a neat appearance and enjoys herself with friends and family. While her husband is not a very tender man, he is neither an alcoholic nor a womanizer, as is the case with her friends' husbands. Moreover, he has a well-paid job to cater for the needs of Milena and her two daughters.
A crack appears in Milena's carefree existence, however, when the doctors tell her she has a breast tumor. Trying to put her mind to other things, she decides to thoroughly clean her house. In doing so, she comes across an old video tape with footage that she puts on for old times' sake. The tape turns out to contain evidence of a gloomy secret that her husband has kept hidden from her all that time. This discovery causes her world to fall apart and disrupts the life she had always taken for granted.
Mirjana Karanović is also a human rights defender, which earned her the Serbian Winning Freedom Award, a prize for women who promote human rights, the rule of law, democracy and tolerance.
Text: Annika Wubbolt