Inspired by the impact of the conflict from the Croatian War of Independence upon the ordinary people of Croatia, “Isabelle” was Greg Johnson’s attempt at connecting with the country on the other side of the world while he was “stuck on an island”.
The video does a good job of creating a landscape that might be New Zealand or might be Croatia. Though if, as Greg sings, Isabelle comes from the modern metropolis of Zagreb, what’s she doing living in a little Borat-style shack in the woods? And the more we see of the woods, they more they look like New Zealand. Perhaps Greg’s longing is starting to transform downtown Zagreb into a New Zealand national park.
Isabelle is played by Gina From Shortland Street, who wears black and looks mournful because all her people, they are dying. Greg, meanwhile, is wearing a waistcoat with a skivvie (for it is the ’90s) and occasionally pops up with his mandolin to make everything better.
Best bit: Isabelle’s numb reaction to seeing a crashed military vehicle with injured passengers.
Director: James Holt
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision
Next: A suburban ode.