Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBB
Republic of Macedonia/France/United Kingdom, 1994. Aim, British Screen Productions, European Co-production Fund, Ministry of Culture for the Republic of Macedonia, Noe, PolyGram Audiovisuel, Vardar Film. Screenplay by Milcho Manchevski. Cinematography by Manuel Teran. Produced by Judy Counihan, Cedomir Kolar, Sam Taylor, Cat Villiers. Music by Dragan Dautovski, Zlatko Origjanski, Zoran Spasovski, Goran Trajkoski. Production Design by Sharon Lomofsky, David Munns. Costume Design by Caroline Harris, Sue Yelland. Film Editing by Nicolas Gaster.
Inspired setup suffers from not having enough substance at its core. The film is told in three stories, the third completing the missing link to the first, mostly centring around a Macedonian filmmaker (Rade Serbedzija) and his British girlfriend (Katrin Cartlidge).
Milcho Manchevski’s film debut, the first major film from the newly independent state of Macedonia, is stunningly photographed, but ultimately not effective enough. Phyllida Law has a wonderful small role as Cartlidge’s mother.
The Criterion Collection: #436
Academy Award Nomination: Best Foreign Language Film
Venice Film Festival Award: Golden Lion (tie)