'SHADOWS' A PERFECT FESTIVAL FILM
Following his much fêted debut, “Before the Rain” (1994), and his second feature, “Dust” (2001), writer-director Milco Mancevski has once again provided us with the perfect festival film: a visual tale of dramatic substance, with historical depth and contemporary thrust, adroitly told with innovation and élan. And once again Manchevski returns to that place he cannot leave behind, his beloved Macedonia, says U.S. critic Diane Sipl in her review of “Shadows” in “Cinema without Borders”.
In her review, the critic refers to the country’s history and division among neighbors, in order to explain the story about Lazar and Menka.
“In the first two films, Mancevski used historic facts to tell stories from his country. ‘Shadows’ departs from this approach, opting for a more straight-forward development of the story, but adds to it a dreamscape of personal torment. Call it a ‘ghost story’ but know that it feels more like Bergman or Polanski, or even Shakespeare — Macbeth and Hamlet come to mind.
Retaining an ensemble of actors from one film to the next, Manchevski used two first-time film actors in Shadows for the lead roles, Borce Nacev as Lazar and Vesna Stanojevska as Menka, who both deliver remarkable performances. As for the director, if we view Lazar as a visionary not unlike the filmmaker himself, pursuing the artist’s journey, that journey is also an allegory of cinema when its task is to lead us to see — at whatever price — and to dream”, stresses Sipple.