New Plays from Finland
Bolla is based on a novel of the same name by Pajtim Statovci. Statovci emerged in 2014 when his debut novel, My Cat Yugoslavia (English translation 2017), was acclaimed in Finland and later internationally. Tuomas Timonen dramatized Bolla (another depiction of human lives altered by the crisis in Kosovo) for the Helsinki City Theatre stage in 2021.
Miloš and Arsim’s mutual passion is forbidden on many levels; not only are they two men, but also a Serb and an Albanian in a country that is about to combust. One escapes, the other remains, and they both end up losing control of their lives all the same. Their stories are prominently about twisted ways to cope in a trapped life and whether or not it is possible to find freedom.
The imagery of Bolla doesn’t shy away from unfair, angry and violent situations. Arsim’s family’s escape from Kosovo spirals into a fantastical scene of snakes, fire and blood, while Miloš’ journal entries show him losing himself in a lunatic asylum. A thread of tradition and folklore is weaved in via Arsim’s storytelling and the re-occurrence of a snake-like creature.