The slow death of a beautiful young woman provokes her fellow villagers in this 1967 peasant drama from Croatia. Director Ante Babaja seems interested as much in the folkways of the insular community as in the characters’ psychology: wedding and funeral rituals, accompanied by authentic songs and dances, take up much of the film, with occasional digs at the jealousy and superstition that permeate village life. Weighed down by its languid pace and crude editing, the film manages to convey the villagers’ glum acceptance of their fate, but Babaja’s constant comparison of the woman to a birch tree, both of which are admired for their beauty but cursed for being unique, is typical of the film’s ham-handedness. 87 min.