SYNOPSIS

Filmed on location in the Republic of Macedonia and in London, this complex trilogy highlights the conflict between Muslims and Orthodox Christians in the Balkans. The three chapters of the trilogy are "Words", "Faces" and "Pictures". Rade Servedizija plays Aleksander, a photo-journalist who has returned to his native Macedonia. Riddled with guilt at having caused a man's death in Bosnia, he wants now to be a participant rather than an observer of the conflict.

"The circle is not round" is a recurring theme, illustrated in numerous ways in order to suggest that solutions are not found in rigidity. In keeping with that theme, the director chooses a fractured placement of events which, while leaving one a little confused as to sequence, still satisfies the viewer that a story has been told. We watched this film twice in an attempt to better understand it. We concluded that the general feeling of "inconclusiveness" was a necessary part of the experience, as it tells the story of ancient and perpetual hate, a subject that doesn't wrap-up neatly for us. You walk away shaking your head, but with a deeper understanding of the big picture. The original music by "Anastasia" is hauntingly beautiful.

Director Milcho Manchevski won a Golden Lion from the Venice Film Festival (1994), an Audience Award from the Sao Paulo International Film Festival (1994), the Best Directorial Debut Award from the Stockholm Film Festival (1994), and the Independent Spirit Award from Macedonia (1996). Before the Rain was nominated for an Oscar for the Best Foreign Language Film (1995) and won the Guldbagge for Best Foreign Film (1996).


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