Review:  Homage to skiing siblings goes largely downhill

Review: Homage to skiing siblings in ‘Gnothi Seauton’ goes largely downhill
Ivaca Kostelic in a scene from this documentary about skiing Olympians from unsnowy Croatia.
(Hoplite Films)

Olympic-medalist skiers from snow-deprived Croatia, siblings Janica and Ivica Kostelic spent their formative years living variously out of tents and cars and training relentlessly under their former-handball-player father and coach, Ante. In the documentary “Gnothi Seauton” (roughly “Know Thyself”), slow-motion montages of the skiers’ training regimen tediously show them jumping through obstacle courses as cameras flash, diving off a cliff with an underwater cameraman on standby and looking out pensively as they posed for hero shots.

Filmmaker Bruno Kovacevic’s artless direction gives the film the aesthetic and aura of a corporate orientation video. Scored and edited to tug at the heartstrings, it hammers home how Janica and Ivica Kostelic beat the odds, overcame severe injuries and endured multiple surgeries. The voice-over narration is overwrought and corny: “Like a bikini, little was seen, and later it became clear that what was hidden was much sweeter.”

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Most of the interviews are so tangential that they sound like slopeside filler on ESPN rather than something insightful. We hear so little of substance from Janica and Ivica Kostelic themselves that they come off like one-dimensional game bots focused only on Olympic gold.



‘Gnothi Seauton’

No MPAA rating

Running time: 1 hour, 33 minutes


Playing: Laemmle Music Hall 3, Beverly Hills

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