The plot of the feature film “Leeches” takes place at the very end of the twentieth century, between 1997 and 2000, a period that marked this region with such cruelty that the only plausible explanation for it is an irrational one. The story mostly takes place in Serbia, but then expands to Croatia, Israel , and “somewhere in the world”.
In Serbia, this was a time of hopelessness, fear, and totalitarianism, to the point that anyone publicly expressing his views and beliefs faced serious threats.
In Jerusalem, an elderly gentleman gives a young woman – whose face cannot be discerned – the last instructions before her departure to Serbia.
In Belgrade the renown Serbian writer Petar Mirić, a man who once worked for the State Security Service but then decided to pull out of it, is suddenly targeted by various secret services.
His courageous comments against the regime broadcast by a local TV station, as well as the people he comes into contact with – endanger his life.
The threats he faces increase when he refuses to accept the award for his novel in protest against the regime. In this novel he describes his unsuccessful attempts to find out the truth about his heritage.
Svetlana, his mistress and yet another agent he is unaware of, is very much angered by his decision. Still she quickly forgets about it – as sex with Petar soothes her.
Also entering his life is Stjepan Šrok. He offers Petar to work for his Service, noting that he is a bit disappointed by Petar’s refusal of the award as he has invested much effort to secure it for him.
Petar replies that he has done away with all that, and that he has no interest for any “service”.
Dining at the “Writers’ Club” Petar is briefly approached by a woman that leaves him with a scrap of paper bearing a drawing of two triangles with a reel at the center.
Petar sets out to find her, trying at the same time to decipher the meaning of the triangles. He comes into contact with the painter Jaša Alkalaj, whose exhibition is under preparation.
He soon enters into a relationship with Margaret, the woman who left him the mysterious message, falling in love with her. He finds out that she is a Jašin’s daughter.
Under Margaret’s influence his public statements against the regime broaden their scope to include the problems of the small Jewish community in Serbia. As his comments become sharper, his life becomes even more threatened. An attempt on his life takes place, Jaša’s paintings are vandalized just before the exhibition, the TV studio is demolished, and finally his acquaintance Jewish painter Jaša Alkalaj is murdered.
That night Petar desperately looks for Margaret. He goes over to Svetlana’s apartment. She is accompanied by Stjepan Šrok and Petar realizes that she is also involved in the murder.
He decided to escape to Istria, Croatia. He is joined there by Stjepan Šrok, who tells him that Margaret has been helping him all the time.
She sends him a passport, visa and an airplane ticket. Petar is surprised because he thinks that Margaret and Šrok are on opposite sides. Between Petar and Šrok, during the time , some weird friendship relationship is established.
Petar goes ,“somewhere“, where he starts teaching at a university and slowly getting his life back. He has managed to run away from the chaos and thus found peace.
He hopes that he has left everything behind and escaping, if distance is concerned, it is possible. He makes new acquaintances. Everyone is very friendly.
One day as he opens the door of the house he lives, he sees Margaret. They kiss long and passionately.
She reveals the history of his family, which Peter had not known. His mother is Jewish, his whole family ended up in a concentration camp during World War II.
They’re deeply in love…
Unexpectedly, at a cocktail party after Petar’s successful lecture at the university, he meets Svetlana. He realizes that the reason of her arrival is to kill him and Margaret.
The idyll ends. Is an escape, however far, possible at all?
Petar and Margaret are driving on an empty road. Petar interrupts the silence and says he thought about everything and they have to run away.
Margaret looks at him and after a while she replies: “No, no more running. We stay.
Margaret is a MOSSAD agent. She is the woman from the opening scene sent from Jerusalem to Serbia to help members of the small Jewish community in the chaos they were confronted with.
Car they were into slowly goes into night, on the road without an end…