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Milcho Manchevski

  • Country: Macedonia, France, Bulgaria
  • Year: 2010
  • Language: Macedonian
  • Producer: Christina Kallas
  • Executive Producer: Christina Kallas, Milcho Manchevski
  • Screenplay: Milcho Manchevski
  • Runtime: 123
  • Programmes:

A child's friend is accosted by a flasher so she decides to go to the police herself; a film crew sets out to find the old traditions and discovers a grandmother living alone in an abandoned village; retired cleaning women are found raped and strangled in a small town. The innovative structure of “Mothers” highlights the delicate nature of truth and fiction, of drama and documentary.

DramaDocumentary. Women

screening times

    • Sunday September 12
    • 8:30:00 PM
    • Tiff Bell LightBox 1
    • Monday September 13
    • 9:15:00 PM
    • Saturday September 18
    • 3:15:00 PM

Note: indicates Premium Screening.

official description

Mothers consists of three stories, a structure that the precociously talented Macedonian filmmaker, Milcho Manchevski, used to great effect in his superb debut film, the award-winning Before the Rain. Placed in three locations – Skopje, Mariovo and Kicevo – it is, as its title suggests, a film about mothers. But it is also about much more than that, as Manchevski composes a kind of report card on the present state-of-mind of his country.

The trilogy of episodes he has assembled in this always thoughtful, often provocative, and finally unsettling film allows Manchevski the freedom to wander through very different facets of contemporary Macedonia. The first episode – centred around a wilful and wonderfully independent child who, outraged that a schoolmate has been “flashed,” goes off to the police station to report the “crime” – contains a deeper sense of moral conflict. The second episode, which follows a filmmaking crew in search of old rural traditions, concerns two very old, flinty peasants. The only inhabitants of a village that was almost entirely abandoned, their ghostly lives act as a living thread to the past. And the third episode, by far the most disturbing, moves into pure documentary as it chronicles the shocking deaths of a number of women, all middle-aged mothers, killed at the hands of a psychopath who seems to suffer from a mother-complex.

Mothers begins with fiction, indeed with the fabrication of a lie, moves on to an attempt at the fabrication of a myth and ends in the shattering imagery of the real, where no fabrication is possible. Lying below the surface of all the episodes is a small web of fibs and betrayals, minor on the whole, but gaining an awful power in the final act, where a man respected by the community turns out to have deceived them all. There is no easy reading of Mothers, only a need for us to work with the filmmaker to uncover its many meanings.

Piers Handling

director bio

Milcho Manchevski was born in Skopje, Macedonia and studied cinema and photography at Southern Illinois University. He began his career directing music videos and short films before making his feature film debut, Before the Rain (94), which won many awards, including the Golden Lion and FIPRESCI Prize at the Venice International Film Festival and an Academy Award® nomination for best foreign language film. His other films are Dust (01), Shadows (07) and Mothers (10).

full credits

Principal Cast: Ana Stojanovska, Vladimir Jacev, Dimitar Gjorgjievski, Ratka Radmanovic, Salaetin Bilal
Christina Kallas
Executive Producer:
Christina Kallas, Milcho Manchevski
Vladimir Samoilovski
Žaklina Stojcevska
Peter Baldock
Igor Vasilev Novogradska
Production Designer:
David Munns
Co-producers: Thierry Lenouvel, Methodius Petrikov
Production Company:
Banana Film
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