Friday, 17 March 2017

Before the rain (came down)

My brother and I, the one I am closer to than others (as we both like to read and like similar movies), talked about a very sad and one of the better anti-Balkan-war films we’ve seen, a Macedonian production called Before the Rain (1994). It’s a terribly depressing allegory of sin and secrets, the circle of violence, and most of the characters are dead long before they are actually killed, each for their own sin – or secret. There is a renown photographer, dead inside upon return, who confesses to his lover his camera has “killed a man” – while he was shooting out in the zone one of the aggressors asked him if he got any good pics and when he responded an uninspiring ‘not really’, the soldier took a prisoner and summarily executed him, asking ‘did you get it?’… The photographer is later killed by a childhood friend for getting between the village politics and an Albanian woman they are hunting – the daughter of a woman still in love with the photographer after all this time. The girl is ultimately also gunned down by her own family, supposedly for killing one of the opposite side. The photographer's pregnant lover, a married woman, in a sequence called ‘Faces’, has a meal in a restaurant with her estranged husband and a no-name gunman comes in, shooting at random, shooting the husband though his face. For no reason at all, another pointless, senseless death. All three chapters – Faces, Words and Pictures are interchangeable and their order is up for discussion. The only survivor, I think, if I remember it correctly, is a young sworn-to-silence monk who tries to shelter the young mute Albanian woman and leaves the cloister for her to help her find refuge. Supposedly he is the only one without a sin or secret, but, in the end, what good does that do him, being the last to live in a bleak world of ancient grudges and contemporary greed (or ancient greed and contemporary grudges, how ever you find these things). Then the rain comes. To little absolution to anybody left behind.

Don't let the picture fool you. She is already shot and soon to be dead on this pic. It's a tremendous film, but .. Prepare to leave some of your soul behind.

Tried watching High Rise, but that was just crap. Good scenography, tho, ambitious camera.