Sveto mesto: Directed by Djordje Kadijevic. With Dragan Jovanovic, Branka Pujic, Aleksandar Bercek, Mira Banjac. Sveto mesto (A Holy Place, 1990) is based on a literary classic, Nikolai Gogol’s 1835 short story, ‘Viy’. However, Kadijevic uses it only as a starting point for his own explorations into the dark side of eroticism. Gogol’s story deals with Toma, a reluctant theology student who is forced to read the Psalms over an (un)dead girl for three nights in a row. All the while supernatural forces are trying to grab him from the Holy Circle drawn on the church floor. Kadijevic adapts and enriches ‘Viy’ by inventing a new backstory for the witch-girl and her father. The dead girl, Catherine (unwittingly killed in the prologue, while in the shape of a hag), is referred to as a ‘saint’ and her father is a harsh and unpleasant man. Kadijevic departs further from the original story, and introduces an excess of perversity and horror more reminiscent of the Anglo-American gothic than the milder Slavic attempts in a similar mode. Incest is the name of the game here.