”Mira was a woman of powerful energy, one of those who immediately fill you with admiration, both with her acting performance and her attitude to life. Despite all injustices done to her, she was not seeking revenge but pursued optimism and hope in the change, the life in which no one will ever have to undergo what happened to her and others sharing the same fate”, said Vojko Obersnel, Mayor of Rijeka, remembering his encounters with Mira Furlan at the Rijeka CNT. Speaking at the commemoration for the great actress who left us recently, he pointed out her “exceptional talent as well as her immeasurable strength, owing to which not only did she act in the play Practicing Life but also truly lived through this practice, teaching us how to cope with it.”
“I was especially happy when reading what she said of Rijeka, calling it a free and open city. These days we are reading overdue apologies to her that some make to ease their conscience, leaving their truthfulness and sincerity to the personal impression of each of us.”
Lada Čale Feldman, PhD, theatre studies scholar and university professor, who followed the development process of Mira’s autobiographic appearance in the production of Practicing Life – Second Time, expressed her sympathies upon the sudden passing away of Mira.
“The CNT in Rijeka is the only place where you can speak of Mira Furlan without having to ease your conscience, as it is here that she was experienced as a living and indispensable artist”, said Čale Feldman, adding that in the current media cacophony on Mira’s acting career it is hard to pay homage to her theatre work in the current media cacophony on Mira’s acting career.
“She chronically missed theatre roles, missed theatre challenges in which she would relentlessly seek out that something to satisfy her creative appetites. Actually resisting the characters she played, finding them to be passive women, it was through them that she tried to express her protest and tamelessness”, explained Lada Čale Feldman, expressing the hope that Mira Furlan’s imprint will stay alive, also that future will be able to find the courage to give it its monographic contribution.
Nikola Petkovć, PhD, remembered his first encounter with Mira Furlan when in the eighties, as a young journalist of Polet, he interviewed the already famous actress. Then they would forget each other, meeting again, getting to know each other three times, though sharing the common experience of America. ”We were redoing the practice of life, the discontinuity of our memories stemming from the experience of being displaced, that odd aggregate state. I used to tell my students that it is just as being Odysseus, caught between the lust for a place, also belonging to it, and the episodic life in which you can and are allowed to share all besides yourself”, said Nikola Petković, regretting there will no longer be an opportunity to fulfil her wish to see Veprinac “when she comes back”, as they had planned in the summer, “the comeback being elsewhere”.
“Mira is here”, began Sanja Bojanić, PhD, “Mira is an institution. People used to say she was sensitive. It is not that she was sensitive, only that she didn’t calculate, didn’t lecture. Mira is a poet, a writer, she is each of her characters.”
Tanja Smoje, Croatian drama principal actress, read a text by Heni Erceg in which Heni evoked her repeated encounters and companionship with Mira in Zagreb and on the Island of Šolta. In her usual style, quite bluntly and directly, Heni made comments on what happened in the media following the news on Mira’s passing away. “Why make an apology to the one who can no longer hear it? Why the apology wasn’t made two, five or ten years ago?”
Jelena Lopatić read the text by Mima Simić, also a close friend of Mira, who began her memories with “It’s impossible not to fall in love with Mira”, and ending with “It’s impossible not to speak of Mira in the present.”
Neva Rošić, doyenne of the Croatian Theatre, devoted to “Mira’s most beautiful eyes” an excerpt from Krleža’s novel Zastave (The Banners), and Louis Fantasia, Dean of the Faculty and Chair of the Department of Liberal Arts and Sciences at New York Film Academy’s Los Angeles, Shakespeare’s Sonnet 30.
Marin Blažević, General Manager and Artistic Director, spoke about the roles that Mira Furlan wished to play as “these roles speak of her character”. “Together with Neva Rošić we were making plans for our future projects in Rijeka. We talked of Hamlet, in which Mira would play Hamlet and Neva her mother Gertrude. We also talked of King Lear, in which Neva would play Lear and, naturally, Mira the Fool, as well as of Electra, in which Mira would play Electra and Neva her mother, Clytemnestra.”
At the end of the commemoration all those attending the commemoration applauded Mira Furlan for the last time.