North Macedonia


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. A reporter who writes about the murders is arrested. The fiction slowly turns into a documentary. Employing an innovative structure, MOTHERS highlights the delicate relationships of truth and fiction, of drama and documentary, becoming thus a meditation on the nature of truth. By eschewing neat narrative devices, the film pushes the viewer to confront their own definitions of filmic reality, as the structure of the film itself becomes part of its message.

Director's Statement

MOTHERS is about the nature of truth, rather than about the truth itself. Yet, the way the three stories in MOTHERS come together is closer to the intuitive way in which jazz is played or abstract painting is created than to the rigorous thinking of a narrative film. All three stories in this film are true. They are based on real events, and one of the stories is handled as a documentary. Yet, we don’t know more about what happened in that story. If anything, the truth in the documentary is more elusive. The more we learn about the truth, the less important it is what the factual truth is, and the more important it becomes what the emotional truth of this living person is. We stick to the facts, as they are important, but in the end, the love, the joy, the suffering and the artistic concept are more important than the facts. A writer once said: “The difference between fiction and reality is that fiction has to make sense.” And, even better: “Fiction is the truth inside a lie.” MOTHERS is a film from Macedonia, rather than a film about Macedonia.

Cast & Crew

Directed by: Milcho Manchevski

Written by: Milcho Manchevski

Produced by: Christina Kallas

Cinematography: Vladimir Samoilovski

Editing: Zaklina Stojcevska

Production Design: David Munns

Original Score: Igor Vasilev

Cast: Ratka Radmanovic, Ana Stojanovska, Vladimir Jacev, Dimitar Gjorgjievski

Nominations and Awards

  • Feature Film Selection 2011