VRBA

North Macedonia, Hungary, Belgium, Albania

Synopsis

Three women cope with issues of control over their bodies, tradition and adoption. They have not set out to change the world, but their struggle to become mothers makes them unlikely heroines. Three stories set in Macedonia - one medieval, two contemporary - exploring themes of love, trust and motherhood.

Directors Statement

Love, trust and motherhood are issues that three families in our film – one medieval and two contemporary – deal with. Our characters are faced with moral and personal dilemmas that end up re-defining their roles in their communities. They have not set out to change the world or society, but their search for love, trust and motherhood makes them unlikely heroines. On the surface, the beliefs and lifestyles of our characters in the Middle Ages and in contemporary Macedonia could not be more different. Still, there is something in the essence of who we are that has not changed that much over time. The dilemmas our medieval characters face, their pain and joy are clearly reflected, contrasted and complemented by how our contemporaries deal with similar predicaments. I don't think that art can or should solve social dilemmas and conflicts, but it certainly has the power to shine a light on them in a way that no one else in society can. I am drawn to complex narratives that seem simple at first glance. In WILLOW I continue to explore this.

Director's Biography

Milcho Manchevski's acclaimed BEFORE THE RAIN is considered “one of the greatest debut feature films in the history of cinema” (Annette Insdorf) and “one of the most important films of the decade” (Ann Kibbey). The New York Times included it on its list of “Best 1,000 Movies Ever Made”. It won the Golden Lion in Venice, Independent Spirit, a U.S. Academy Award nomination and 30 other awards.

“Manchevski continues down his distinctive artistic path” (Hollywood Reporter) with the award-winning features DUST, SHADOWS, MOTHERS, BIKINI MOON, WILLOW, the short forms THE END OF TIME, THURSDAY, MACEDONIA TIMELESS, 1.73, Arrested Development’s TENNESSEE and an episode of HBO`s THE WIRE. “His work stands out in world cinema for its unique way of playing with space, time and emotion” (Keith Brown).

Roger Ebert said, “Work like this keeps me going. A reminder of the nobility that film can attain.” “His unique blend of experimentation, poetry, emotion, and a demand for the active participation of the viewer in the construction of meaning are highly praised.“ (Conor McGrady). His work is part of the curricula at numerous universities and is the subject of many essays and books.

Manchevski holds an honorary doctorate from VGIK in Moscow. He is a member of the Directors Guild of America, European Film Academy and the PEN Club.

He has published books of photographs, essays and fiction; he has also taught and lectured extensively (NYU, Feirstein, EICTV, Babelsberg, London Film School, VGIK, Chicago University, etc.).

FILMOGRAPHY:
2019 WILLOW
2017 BIKINI MOON
2010 MOTHERS
2007 SHADOWS
2001 DUST
1994 BEFORE THE RAIN
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Cast & Crew

Directed by: Milcho Manchevski

Written by: Milcho Manchevski

Produced by: Jane Kortoshev, Milcho Manchevski, Ildikó Kemény, Eleonóra Peták, Hubert Toint, Agron Domi, Nik Powell, Ian Prior

Cinematography: Tamás Dobos

Editing: Nicolas Gaster

Production Design: David Munns

Costume Design: Györgyi Szakács, Zaklina Krstevska

Make-Up & Hair: Barbara Kund

Original Score: Kiril Dzajkovski

Sound: Gervaise Demeure, Philippe Charbonnel

Visual Effects: Misho Ristov

Casting: Milka Anchevska

Main Cast: Sara Klimoska (Donka), Natalija Teodosieva (Rodna), Kamka Tocinovski (Katerina), Nikola Risteski (Milan), Nenad Nacev (Branko), Petar Caranovic (Kire)

Nominations and Awards

  • EFA Feature Film Selection 2020