Slamdance Film Festival
Directors: Dusan Saponja and Dusan Cavic
Biba Struja is a 54-year-old Serbian with a special talent, which nobody really knows how to explain. With nothing more than a determined look on his face and pair of metal rods, Struja is able to cook a hot dog, boil water, and even ignite a piece of cloth drenched with lighter fluid. He is “Battery Man.” Although there are a lot of fascinating documentaries screening at this year’s Slamdance, this is easily one of the most bizarre and captivating films thanks to Struja’s unique abilities. The film is shot in Serbia, where Struja lives and is somewhat of a celebrity, although his status has faded as he’s aged, which the film portrays very well through interviews with family and friends. And even though the film has subtitles the whole time, the directors do a nice job capturing the emotion inside of Struja as he tells his life story. The film also documents baffled doctors and scientists who, despite doing tests on Struja, cannot fully explain how he is able to withstand large amounts of electricity passing through his body. One of the memorable scenes in the film is when a group of young scientists seem to be making fun of Struja’s abilities, as though it is nothing special or unique, and he is forced to prove himself. Another thing that makes this film great is Struja’s laidback and humorous personality, which the directors did a nice job showing. This is a fascinating documentary that keeps you engaged throughout, but may be challenging for those who hate reading subtitles.