Svetozar Ristovski – Iluzija AKA Mirage (2004)

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‘Hope is the worst of evils, for it prolongs the torments of man.’ Nietzsche, 24 July 2006
Author: Grady Harp from United States

‘You never get out of the sewer’ is the sad summary toward the end of this remarkable film from Macedonia. Director Svetozar Ristovski co-wrote this screenplay with Grace Lea Troje, a story of the struggle of youths in a country devastated with poverty and corruption – a place without hope. The message is grim, the story is brutal, but the impact is stunning. Continue reading

Milcho Manchevski – Majki aka Mothers (2010)

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*Macedonian entry for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 83rd Academy Awards

Two nine-year-old girls report a flasher to the police even though they never saw him. Three filmmakers meet the only residents of a deserted village – an elderly brother and sister who have not spoken to each other in 16 years. Retired cleaning women are found raped and strangled in a small town.

The fiction slowly turns into a documentary.

Marking the return of Milcho Manchevski, ‘Mothers’ portrays all types: dedicated, neglectful, loving, absent. Through these women, Manchevski renders the faces of human tragedy and joy.

Employing an innovative structure, the three stories in ‘Mothers’ highlight the delicate relationships of truth and fiction, of drama and documentary. What is the nature of truth?

Directed with a keen eye for contemporary Macedonia, the film eschews neat narrative devices and pushes the viewer to confront their own definitions of filmic reality.

In a traditional structuralist manner, the structure of the film itself (two parts fiction and one part documentary) becomes part of its message. Continue reading