Diploma za smrt

Diploma za smrt (English: The Death Degree) is a 1989 Croatian crime drama film and three part miniseries directed by Živorad Tomić, starring Ranko Zidarić and Filip Šovagović.


In 1980's Zagreb, Bero (Ranko Zidarić) and Nik, the lawyer, (Filip Šovagović) are two best friends. Upon graduating from Zagreb Faculty of Economics, Bero struggles to find a decent job so he does manual labour on a local market. His girlfriend Vlasta reveals him that she is pregnant but considers having an abortion because they still lack money to make a good living. Bero strongly opposes this idea, so he pushes himself to the limits by working hard on the market which eventually makes him ill. Bero's friend Nik uses his connections to find his friend a job as a deputy accountant manager in local wholesale company. In the meantime, Vlasta informs Bero that she made an abortion anyway, for which he leaves her. Once he started working on a new job, Bero found out that company's warehouse manager Grga is involved in a smuggling business, so he makes a plans with his buddy Nik to blackmail Grga into handing them over the management of his illegal operations. Once confronted with evidence against him, Grga reluctantly agrees to their demands. Once he took over Grga's business, Bero met Renata, their customer and owner of the Kruna boutique, with whom he soon develops a romantic relationship. During one night in a bar, Renata introduces Bero with: Borut, Zlatko, Stipe and Pavel who all appear very suspicious to Bero. When Bero asks Renata further questions about these people, she explains that they are actually an illegal business cartel, out of which Zlatko operates his pizza place, Stipe restaurant, Pavel motel on Zagreb-Karlovac road while she operates her boutique. The real owner of these business is Jakov Guberina-Guba (Ivo Gregurević), who resides in Munich and regularly takes fifty percent of their profit. Bero talks Renata into allowing him co-run the boutique with her, but parallelly starts plotting with Nik on how to take over their businesses. Renata introduces Bero to an alcoholic car shop owner Franc, who asks Renata for a loan in order to repay his debts. Renata laughs him off, but Bero encourages Franc by giving him his business card. Bero decides to marry Renata after which she lets him in charge of the boutique completely. In spite of Renata's opinion, Bero gives the loan to the Franc but also ties him with a mortgage agreement. After finding out of Bero's deal with Franc, she gets angry at Bero and tells him that this will bring him in confrontation with Guba. Renata's behaviour annoys Bero so he angrily leaves their house. In the last scene we find out that Bero went to sleep over at Nik's place. After phone call from Renata, Nik's wife concludes that "Bero's marriage won't last for long".