Running time: 113min Country: Macedonia, France, UK
Language: Macedonian, English, Albanian, French Genre: Drama, War Subtitle: English Starring: Katrin Cartlidge - Anne,
Rade Serbedzija - Aleksander, Grégoire Colin - Kiril,
Labina Mitevska - Zamira, Jay Villiers - Nick
The circularity of violence seen in a story that circles on itself. In Macedonia, during war in Bosnia, Christians hunt an ethnic Albanian girl who may have murdered one of their own. A young monk who''s taken a vow of silence offers her protection. In London, a photographic editor who''s pregnant needs to talk it out with her estranged husband and chooses a toney restaurant. She wants permanence with her lover, a prize-winning Macedonian photographer just back from Bosnia, changed by the violence. He leaves abruptly for his village; he''s not visited it in 16 years. There he tries to ignore bitter divisions between his Orthodox brethren and local Albanians, then tries to transcend them.
Set against a background of political turbulence in Macedonia and contemporary London, three love stories intertwine to create a powerful portrait of modern Europe in Milcho Manchevski "Before the Rain". When a mysterious incident in the fabled Macedonian mountains blows out of proportion, it threatens to start a civil war, and brings together a silent young monk, a London picture editor, and a disillusioned war photographer in a tragic tale of fated lovers. Told in three parts, and linked by characters and events, "Before the Rain" explores the uncompromising nature of war as it ravages the lives of unsuspecting, and forces the innocent to take sides.
- New, restored high-definition digital transfer, supervised and approved by director Milcho Manchevski
- Audio commentary featuring Manchevski and film scholar Annette Insdorf
- New video interview with actor Rade Šerbedžija
- Behind the Scenes in Macedonia, a short 1993 documentary about the making of Before the Rain
- Soundtrack selections, featuring the music of Macedonian band Anastasia
- On-set footage, theatrical trailers, and stills galleries of production photos, storyboards, and letters
- A selection from Manchevski’s photography collection Street
- Manchevski’s award-winning “Tennessee” music video
- New and improved English subtitle translation
- PLUS: A new essay by film scholar Ian Christie
Before the Rain (Macedonian: Пред дождот, Pred doždot) is a 1994 Macedonian film starring Katrin Cartlidge, Rade Šerbedžija, Grégoire Colin, and Labina Mitevska. It was directed and written by Milčo Mančevski. The music was created by the band Anastasia.
The film is divided into three stories, all of which focus on tragic and ill-fated love affairs.
In the first episode, Words, we meet Kiril, a young monk who has taken a vow of silence, who stands up for Zamira, a young Albanian girl who is accused of murder and is on the run from a mob. For her sake, Kiril leaves the monastery and the two of them make their way through the Macedonian landscape, but their romance is heading towards a sudden and brutal end.
Faces is set in bustling and trendy London. Anne, a picture editor, is torn between the love of her husband Nick and the attraction she feels for Aleksandar, a disillusioned war photographer. She is pulled into a series of tragic events by a shoot-out at a nearby restaurant.
The third and final story, Pictures, brings the two previous stories together. It focuses on Aleksandar''s return to Macedonia to settle. He learns that the war has divided his home village and that his Albanian neighbours are now seen as enemies. Hana, an Albanian woman he was, and apparently still is, in love with, asks him to take care of her daughter Zamira. While Aleksandar sets out to find the girl, a storm is building on the horizon, and the film returns us to its beginning.
Upon watching the film, it becomes clear that the sequence could have been any of three (Words, Faces, Pictures; Faces, Pictures, Words; or Pictures, Words, Faces) - though somewhere an intended inconsistency will become apparent. The end of Words sees Zamira gunned down and killed by her family when she tries to escape them - photos of the scene make a passive appearance in Faces. Suddenly the reappearance of Zamira in Pictures coupled with the ending which returns to the beginning could temporarily hoodwink the viewer that this is, in fact, the first part of the film - until a very close observation of the man lying dead at the beginning of Words is Aleksandar Kirkov, all while Zamira is running for her life after having killed one of the Macedonians. Faces set in London has a living Aleksandar Kirkov whose close friend Anne is developing black and white pictures of a dead Zamira. The motto of the film was, "The Circle is not Round" seen in graffiti form on a wall during Pictures but actually stands to deliver a message that in life, people and places may change but overshadowing scenarios (such as conflicts) go backward and forward in a cycle.
Awards: Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 12 wins & 2 nominations.