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Before the Rain
(Pred Dozhdot)
Macedonia/France/UK - 1994
Directed by Milcho Manchevski


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).

Runtime:  113 minutes


Guest Comments


From:  "Gypo Nolan"

"A beautiful film, thoughtfully structured, brilliantly realized. Not only do we get a peek into a here-to-fore alien culture, but the message is clear and eerily prophetic: You can occupy the teaming urban centers of civilization, enjoy the sophisticated contributions of the worlds of art and reflection, but the long arm of a people who are neglected and dismissed will find you and reek havoc. If we don’t address the anger, we will feel the consequences."


From:  "AL"

"First I was shocked about muslim and ""hot-blood"" mentality e.g. shooting members of own family as solution of an argue, etc. Then I have to say, it is very interesting to get know about cultures and people you do not know.  Perfect film, nice camera and ... very good"


From: "Gia"

"this is one of my favorite films. i first saw it in a european history course i was taking, where it served to further the understanding of war and hatred, adding a personal touch to textbook prose. It is haunting and enigmatic, as beautiful as it is disturbing. This is a movie that is distinctly non-american in its style- in that love neither saves nor conquers anything...though passion, honor, and hatred rule. If you are someone or know someone with ties to the middle east or the balkans, any area of this sort...this movie will especially hit home."

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