HERE'S THE DUST,
BUT WHERE'S THE HORSE?

...............................................................................................................................................................................

by Vladimir Lj. Angelov

There is a big difference between the music
that musicians would like to play
and the music the audience want to hear
(David Bowie)

Contributions to Milcho Manchevski's Biography

My first encounter with the Milcho Manchevski's work was in the 1981: it was on the pages of Jukebox magazine, where he published some articles. But, let's make this clear, Jukebox was a magazine that dealt with popular music and popular mass culture. To illustrate the significance of this magazine, the first 50 issues of Jukebox were Goran Stefanovski's first choice as "readings/ books to take to a desert island to read" at that time. That means that Goran Stefanovski considered this publication to be one that dealt with literature. In these articles, Manchevski describes America, the other side of the Big Pond, in a manner that I'm still impressed with. These texts today play a central role in my perception of the grandiose promised land - America. The detailed, humorous, rebellious style of his revealed to me that he was a student of a film department at some student campus in Champagne, Illinois. He was at CB-GB club, where the famous Talking Heads and the Ramones had begun their careers. Boris Damovski was with him. Boris took pictures with a camera. Click, click, click. Milcho had a beard, Boris was younger. They had a friend named Tory. Milcho liked to watch films, and he also liked to make them. He knew and loved pop culture. John Travolta was his favorite actor. He liked to comment on pop bands that are still totally unknown in Yugoslavia.
The rest of Manchevski's story - we all know everything. He came to Macedonia, shot a few music videos, one short feature, he didn't make it with the script for the film Musaka, some claim that he published something in the magazine Ekran (I never bought that magazine, not even with the TV Guide for the Labor Day holidays). But, he wasn't given a proper chance to work. What can you say? In every misfortune, some fortune can be found. He ran to New York, where he works, improving himself in film-making, for - more or less - ten years, shooting music video videos and commercials, waiting for a chance to come back to Macedonia and prove to everybody what he can do. What size of an ego do you need to act like this? Rade Sherbedzija called him a lonewolf and a gunman. With his film Before the Rain, he showed to Macedonians who is who here. He proved that to all who didn't believe in him. I think that was his greatest reward. Greater that the Venice Golden Lion he won. After that, he was writing stories, books, he cancelled and pulled out of some films, he declared war on Hollywood, he put on some photographic exhibitions. Boris wasn't taking photos of him any more. I don't know why. Manchevski would come to Macedonia, and then he would leave Macedonia. He shot a commercial. He established a film company called Shadow Film. Shadow. Mystical. I grew up a little, and I can still see a great man in him, an artist. And 20 years on, Travolta is still my favorite. I often listen to Ghost Town by the Specials. Puberty is a dangerous period. Manchevski shot a new feature film - Dust. The film opened at the 2001 Venice Film Festival. A happy ending? I'm sure of it...


An Exercise in Style

Let's imagine some two different groups. The collision between two groups is very often the basis of a drama. It's easiest if we confront these two groups in that way, so we can implement the subject of the conflict. In Brilliantine, the groups have similar affinities, and the subjects of the conflict are the common teenage hostilities and "domination" over the (pink) girls. Only we (or at least I) don't like that kind of a romantic film. Not because of the great number of such kind of films, but because any comparison with Brilliantine could be fatal. The optimal solution for these two conflicting groups is to be a group of boys, that listens to folk music (a little Macedonian context) and a group of alternative and modern boys. Ultra-turbo-super-folk melodies with an Asian sound, in its essence, are the teachers' favorites. The conflict of these two groups can be initiated in numerous ways. So, we need a genre now. We can leave these two groups to fight on their own, as in Long Riders, and we only have to motivate them. It's easiest if we introduce one side as "good" the other as "bad" and vice versa. In that way, we can add spice to the story with a love story, if we want to add some melodramatic charm. As in East Side Story? And if we decide to do a crime thriller, then it's necessary, besides the few inevitable victims, to have a "really lonely" police inspector/detective, deductive and analytical thinker, who hates bureaucracy and sometimes "likes to get a fix", and even maybe he can be one of the main suspects, or talk to mass-murderers and cannibals. Lately, to make the detective even lonelier and with even more of a grudge, we should tie them to their beds. We like horror? We can take these two groups to some school institution with showers, an obligatory bath and a few professors. Then we can choose among the "body-snatchers" the killer with the mask, or the poisonous half-man-half-spider. We can even introduce some inferior student, mocked and mistreated by everyone. Do we want a tech-thriller? Nothing could be easier: a few guys, a professor and some shadowy organised force (the Mafia, military intelligence, etc.). If we want a film that can get an award at some film festival, then we don't need any intervention; we need a completely dull two-hour film in which absolutely nothing happens. Everything always depends only on what we, or - to be more accurate - what producers want. Everyone works on that principle: East, West, North and South. Confection. Yes, of course. One should only "catch" the number, time and the price. So now, when we've finally found the modus operandi, we can tell our story. That story won't be exactly the same one we intended to tell at the very beginning, but, isn't life always full of compromises?
But then again, what if we really have the opportunity to be original? Then - what? How do we open our soul and "lay on the table" the pathos of what's burdening us and along the way remain original and, of course, be intellectual to the required degree? What would be the modus operandi then? Well, my modus operandi would be something that is very important to us, something we always wanted to tell, and nobody has said it or seen it that way before. Until now, we've linked the avant-garde and the retrograde worlds, at the same time. Yes, the answer dwells within time frames. We can shift the time. Which time is known to me, which time interest me, and at the same time is full with rich iconography, and brings much exotic context, love, passion, struggles, conflicts? I would inevitably and immediately choose the Macedonian pre-Ilinden1 period. The period of great Macedonian rebels such as Jordan Piperkata and many others like him. How do we link them? As Bill and Ted walked through history with their time machine? Too usual and seen already. There are more ways to link different times. Besides time, I would mix some of the civilization achievements, which we Macedonians, do open-heartedly share both with Eastern and Western civilization. To the confrontation of pro-Euro-Atlantic and retrograde Asian groups, I would add few exchange students; let's say, one from the occidental Champagne, Illinois, USA, and the other one from oriental Ankara, Turkey, Middle East. Skopje, Champagne and Ankara - all university cities.
A question: are these two or three stories inter-linkable, "overlapable" and "breakable" enough, to be convenient for shaping a slightly more modern film expression, and can we input within them any (even trivial) motivation, so they could be defined in terms of genre (I adore genres - is that so bizarre)? Of course, we can - very easily. Now, when we have solved that, there are the great time leaps and the thematic collisions to solve. Surely, our etude - to link the stories - seems even more difficult now, but it's not impossible. Of course, it also has to be original with some semantic depth "attached" to it and at the same time have an attitude, an intellectual one. And finally, it has to be made in an original film language. Did I mention that the story should be, also, spontaneous? Well, it's not quite impossible...


Film Practice - Dust

The story of Dust is placed within two time periods, in three different civilizations, with a few different languages, with four - visually - completely opposite film meanings. The Author of the film, with his attitude, author's expression and meanings (generally), forms three stories and he links and interlaces them, hiding and then revealing many things. There is a fair amount of dream within the film, as well. It corresponds to the spaghetti westerns, even in the musical motif that goes with the main characters, like in the westerns of Sergio Leone. The end of the film must be compared with the ending of The Wild Bunch by Sam Peckinpah. Quite complicated. Very complicated in terms of the concept of film directing and highly ambitious as a high-budget production.
But, let's start with a synopsis of the film:
New York. A black man (Edge) is breaking & entering into some flat. A very old woman - Angela, 100 years old, seizes him under the treat of large handgun and she greets him with a reference to the Rolling Stones' Sympathy for the Devil: pleased to meet you, hope you guess my name. And she starts to tell him a story. And she keeps mentioning a great amount of money - somewhere around, very close. The story she tells brings us back to the time of the Wild West, west of Pecos (and in the town of Pecos, if you recall Roy Bean, the judge was the "merciful and sweet-talking"). Two brothers, Luke and Elijah, both very fast with the gun, fall in love with the same girl, a French prostitute Lilith. The older one, Luke, we don't know why, runs to Europe. On the luxury ship, we meet Freud (again we don't know why), and in Paris, we meet the films made by Manaki Brothers. While watching these films, Luke understands that his future is in Macedonia, a place where civilization hasn't reached yet - the alternative Wild West. Heaven for gangsters and gunman. In Macedonia, he raids with a bloodthirsty gang, bounty-hunting for the Macedonian rebel-emperor - the Teacher, the protector of the oppressed Macedonian people, with a great reward on his head, offered by the Ottoman official authorities. Then Angela gets a heart attack. Edge gets her to the St. Luke (!) hospital. The story goes on. Elijah, who came to Macedonia and joined the Turk bounty-hunters, finds and shoots Luke. Luke is saved, and nursed by a pregnant Macedonian woman Neda. Understandable, she has no one else, but the Teacher's wife. Through a few hallucinations, we can comprehend that Luke had an affair with Lilith. That's why his little brother is so angry, the audience can guess. Edge must get the money, because of some crooked policemen who are after the money he owes to somebody (we don't know who). Angela still tells her story. The Ottoman army gets the Teacher and chops his head off. The Teacher's village is burnt down. Luke gets the offer to revenge the Teacher, and in exchange he gets a bag full with gold coins. He refuses to do that, but he takes the money (?). He meets Elijah again. Luke, then, understands that Lilith committed suicide. Edge finds the money - Luke's gold coins from Macedonia. Angela dies, not finishing the story. Edge is rich now, and he has his revenge on the dirty cops. After that, he takes Angela's ashes to Macedonia by plane. In the plane, he re-tells the story to the girl sitting next to him. In the end of his version of the story, Luke gets back to the village, and in ten minutes of shooting he kills all the Turks and the Greek Orthodox priest. He also kills Corto Maltese. Neda is also dead, but she gave birth before dying. It's Angela, whose ashes he carries in a modest pot in his lap. At the end of the battle, Luke has been killed. Elijah takes the baby, and he flips a coin to decide what to do with it. The coin says he takes the baby to America.

So, here we have three stories:
1. the story of Angela and Edge and Edge and the crooked cops (time, the present: location, New York and the flight from New York to Europe);
2. the story of the brothers Luke and Elijah and the French prostitute (time, the past; location, the Wild West and an even wilder Macedonia);
3. the story of the Teacher, Luke and Neda (time, the past; location, Macedonia).

The times shift around a lot, presented (mostly) in the form of flashbacks. Sometimes, the time makes double leaps backwards. Macedonia and the Wild West on the one hand and the urban New York, on another. The task is: to link these two stories, in any interesting way, with the necessary suspense; to distinguish the times and locations, even visually; to find music applicable to all three stories, two epochs and three civilizations; to pay lip service to the idolatory of the film industry; to be original and create a narration never seen before; to present Macedonia and the Macedonians as good characters; to provoke emotions of fear, sorrow, and empathy as the audience responds; to be inter-textual with literary influences; to act intellectually; to be said that we loved rock 'n' roll but now it's dead; to be moderate in humour; to respect history and historical facts; to say that in the Balkans the conflict between the East and West goes on and on. As I said, ambitious.
That is already seen in the film history, but often films consist of more than three stories. Sometimes, these stories aren't even linked in any way - what we call omnibus films. Mostly, those are films made by the principle that there is a different director for each story in the omnibus film. Sometimes, there is one film director, who gathers a few stories with the different main characters in each story that, hopefully, somewhere at the end of the film, merge with other stories, such as in Manchevski's first film Before the Rain. Sometimes, the stories are conditioned by time leaps. Often, the stories are semantically linked by some objects/subjects, as a taxi, a gun or some character, for instance. There are cases when one can't determine the way the stories are linked. That method is the most delicate. But we already knew that.
Times often mix. For this purpose, screen-writers even invented time machines. Time can be altered even with the case when the narration follows some object/subject over a long time period. Or, you can shift times with hibernating and awakening your hero. The lead character in Forestt Gump is another kind of film time-shifter. A 100-year-old narrator is one of the optimal variants. It was seen in Little Big Man. In that film, the narrator reveals his memories to a journalist. This approach has the advantage of the sentimental kind of films from the very beginning. We all feel for elderly people. And if we build the character as the old lady in Dust - a character with a rebellious attitude who quotes the Rolling Stones, is familiar with famous people, keeps the photos of Jagger and Josip Broz Tito, can handle guns, smokes cigarettes through an oxygen mask of the respiration machine, and finally with a sophisticated sense of humor - then, the producers have a 100 percent success guaranteed.
In Dust, the time linkage was made more in a filmic way, which means a more forced but not spontaneous in same way. Do you watch cartoons? Of course. What abut those at Warner Bros, such as Daffy Duck and Bug Bunny? When "Warner" wants to recycle the cartoons they've already shown in order to gain extra profit, then Bugs Bunny would be captured by the father of the spoiled brat Abadabba. So, in the castle in the middle of the desert, Bugsy would have to read stories to Abadabba. It's a very good incentive. Between every two stories (short cartoons) Abadabba and Bugsy chase and outsmart each other. The Bugsy's stories are, the most often, paraphrased and ironic versions of already well-known stories. This kind of story construction corresponds with the story/stories in Dust, where the roles of Bugsy and Abadabba are swapped. So, if we merge Daffy Duck and Bugs Bunny cartoons and a film such as Little Big Man, we get Dust. But, it also doesn't matter. Why? Because it is a genre-defined film, and we can always take the postmodern as an excuse.
So we come to the question of the suspense (see Truffaut's Hitchcock). Manchevski is the film man, from top to bottom. Erudite. His scenario has to hide something, something that audience wouldn't know until the film's finale. That's also the rule of spaghetti westerns, and it isn't invented and implemented in the film by chance. That rule is there in order to keep the audience interested until the very finish of the film, and to put the accent and semantic point at the end of the film. In Dust, (Lucky) Luke runs to Macedonia. It's very vaguely supposed that the conflict is about love and adultery, and the audience patiently waits in wonder... what ever for is the reason for the brothers' quarrel? When the film reveals that it was because of adultery and the girl's suicide, the film is already in its second half, with one long bloody battle (with a duration of 30 minutes), a shorter battle and a few dreams/visions/hallucinations and agonies also shown, etc. But it seems that to the audience (already) nothing matters any more. And what can we say about Edge? He's under pressure to find money, because with every day he loses one part of his body, until he finds the money he owes. The money is the narrative reason of the film in this urban part of the film. Maybe, this is the most successful part of the film. Here, almost everything is a function. A little drama. The granny Angela is an interesting character, a TV archetype, but still convincing. The crooked cops are a well-thought-up plot; they could be the Mafia, but Manchevski knows that's a sterile cliché and he chooses a different and better solution. The young black Edge is in contrast with the old white Angela, and that also functions on the level of the inevitable comic relief, especially the part when she introduces him as her nephew. Still, the part in the hospital (as with Angela's character overall), to me (subjectively) was too TV-like, not just in the plotting but in the directing procedure and the camera and editing style. And I can say that the suspense is lost with the oversized (in number) fragments of the story.
The most problematic part of the story is the part set in Macedonia. The place that should keep all of the answers of the film story/stories. The questions are: What is the meaning of the photos in the Angela's room? Why did Luke run away (besides his character and his way of life)? Does Angela have any money or not? How will the story about the brothers end in Macedonia? Instead of that, the film, i.e. the director, presents to us three confusedly realized battles (the few original ideas aren't enough considering the wasted gunpowder - the same can be said about the wasted film minutes). And if we consider the story of the peaceful Macedonian village and the pregnant Macedonian young woman Neda (the Teacher's wife) who treats and cures (Lucky) Luke in between, then the confusion is even larger. Is she in love with Luke or not? One can't tell. Is here a different (hidden fourth) story or not? Luke goes to fight, his brother and shoots him, Neda cures him, the Teacher is caught and killed. The gold enters the game, Luke tries to save the bride, but he fails. After that, some dreams, agonies; the film director in one (or two?) phantasmagorical sequences announces Luke's death. This part (most probably) should function as a film-drama sequence: a chase where everybody chases everyone. The airplanes appear as an omen of the new era. When this new age appears there is no place for the cowboys. In some other films, the new era comes with the automobiles. Cable Hog died in a traffic accident.
In these three stories, the script enters some new unknown values (in the mathematical sense). The Austrian Freud appears during Luke's journey (from America to Europe), on the luxury ship. Corto Maltese sits together with an Ottoman officer. In addition, here is the Macedonian Milton Manaki, the first cinematographer of the Balkans. All that without any visible need, at least not to me, as a simple viewer, of course.
Manchevski makes the distinction between his stories - but not by their mechanical division as ordinary sequences. He also varies them with his own directorial style, means and procedures. So, in the part that happens in New York, the megalopolis' chaos and the human trash are shown, as well as modern life, with a dynamic and rapid style of film flow, with short sequences and hand-held camerawork. There are, also, some strange camera angles that doesn't seem to fit perfectly into the whole. When the camera pays attention to old Angela's photos from the beginning of the 20th century, the camera is tranquil, steady, stabile, and perceptive. The passages with the photos and the souvenirs are too emphasized to be a part of the same film procedure. Often, the photos are depicted as photography-frames for a short while. And at the risk of repeating myself, the film technique where the photos are the significant part of the film narration is too much "based on a true story"-style and very TV-like for this "odyssey" year of 2001. The scenes that take place in the hospital are, also, too TV-like: the nurse forbids smoking, the room-mate is "dead cold", the nurses are over agile, the doctors apply defibrillators, the scenery is also stereotypical, with tubes and bags for transfusions or infusions and many needles, tubes, and pipes. The camera is hysterical in its movement with lots of close-ups. It's so medically sterile. Like in some TV-soap in some city hospital.
The part that presents the Wild West is in black and white, with no special scenery involved, anyway. The scenes are almost empty. The memories are somebody else's, so we can say that here, the film director's idea is in function here. But, the memories are a very delicate phenomena in the film. In this part, the newspapers, photos and the first-hand telling of Elijah aren't the only influence on the recollections of the Wild West. Many other influences can't be escaped, such as the films of Ford, Lang, Huston, etc. Not even Angela. She's American, too. In this part, she's the narrator, so there isn't much in the way of dialogue here. Empty again. A little iconography, a few revolvers, cowboy hats, saddled horses, a small whore-house, not really enough for us to go back to the epoch of the Wild West. There aren't Doc Holiday and Wyatt Earp, nor Billy the Kid, nor their shadows. The replica "Good day, sheriff!" is far from enough to create the context. The third story, the one in Macedonia, is different from the other two, above all, with its visual and colour attributes. The picturesque ethnic clothes and ornaments and other iconography, like the all-Balkan military and "war-path" uniforms are accented (the Komitaji freedom-fighters' and the Albanian or Greek bandits' "war-clothing", as well as the Ottoman military uniforms) in opposition to the American cowboy-desperado-spaghetti-surrealistic costumes. All that is contrasted to the tame and tender physiognomies of the Macedonian girls, women, elders and children; contrasted to the most beautiful Macedonian mountain village; to the picturesque and overwhelming Macedonian countryside, enriched with the crystal-clear mountain and beautiful ancient bridges. But blood is ever present: in the colors of the Macedonian ethnic clothing and in the colors of the famous and beautiful Macedonian blankets - the yambollias. Only death is equal for all of them. Death is everywhere. The conflicting groups are the Ottoman military troops, the Komitaji war units and the Albanian/Greek bandits. If one succeeds to comprehend that. Luke is with everybody and against everybody. They slaughter, hang, and kill each other, even among themselves - and they do enjoy it. That is, also, in opposite of the tame and beautiful countryside present in the film, as another contrapuntal device. There is almost no talking. What's more to it, that little dialogue that exists isn't really necessary at all. Cries, battle calls, and pained yells. And the languages a little Turkish, a little German, a little English and French - and even less Macedonian. The brothers ride horses (Luke's horse is beautiful), and their appearance is illustrated with the harmonica, true to the spaghetti western archetype. The story I defined as a chase story moves through a few locations and to the village. Too few dynamics, too few scenes, too much dubbing, too many close-ups, too brutal, too much blood, and gunpowder.
Why does the director work with three stories? Why not two? Why aren't the stories about the brothers and the Teacher one and the same story, or why they aren't in continuity? Why is the action so fragmented? Most probably, the director thought that if he merges these stories, the film would be too narrative, and without an underlying concept or motif. A film that would be difficult to push to its end. The first story has a plot, the second hasn't. So, as a plot, the adultery and Luke's running away to Europe is used. It isn't the happiest choice of plots, and the director-screenwriter of the film tries to hide it to the end of the film while the audience waits in confusion for it. Even the beautifully thought trick of Luke's death when he promotes himself as a "zombie", is relatively vague and undeveloped, most probably to avoid comparisons with the films such as The Sixth Sense. Here is the motif - the gold, which transfers into the second story. The audience should suppose from Angela's money that Luke earned it by catching the Teacher, but the opposite turns out to be the case. Luke takes the money to avenge him and to save his wife and child. Well meant, but in all those battles, killings, dreams, and fantasies, the motif got lost. That way, the only piece of surprise is lost, the piece that would stimulate the audience to go on and watch the film with interest until its end.
What is to be said about the presence in the film of the above-mentioned Freud, Maltese, and Manaki? We can link Manaki to the photos in Angela's apartment, and the photographer and the photos are well-used and functional in the film. So, it can be said that it doesn't matter if there was Manaki or somebody else. Who was the one that filmed the Turkish and the Komitaji troops (that Luke saw in Paris)? Is there any story behind it? How does Freud fit in here? With Luke's dreams? So the Oedipus complex of the brothers, who found - in the French whore - their mother? We can link these moments, but the film should do it, as well. Or maybe, Angela is Freud's disciple or follower, so even in her pre-mortal agony she can't escape his theory? Or, finally, everything is only some auto-referential art. The non-Macedonian audience is surely wondering who slaughters who, and who is who and who is what, etc. What's Corto Maltese doing here? Everybody recognizes him. Does every film that has ambitions for artistic authenticity and has violent/bloody story have to end by paraphrasing The Wild Bunch? And if Marx described the human guts as wide open, does someone have to show them? Are film and literature able to present the same things with the same valorization? The professor Zhika Pavlovic was against such approach, and he also was - both - writer and filmmaker (and painter, sculptor, etc.). And what about Jagger and Josip Broz Tito?
I can agree that the film music is good, but the acting performances of the foreigners (David Wenham, Joseph Fiennes) were (below) average. Didn't Manchevski have any alternatives? "The man who likes to kill so very much" had to be some Robert Redford-like-blonde man, a handsome guy with typical Hollywood charm, one who mastered the half-smile to perfection. The others looked more as if they were posing. That was their only job, anyway.
This is a "heavy" material to make a film from. Too many traps hide within it. It contains too many temptations to enter the numerous stereotypes. It's too hard to find the balance between the source material (book, film, legend...) and the new, original film material. It needs too much mimicry to maintain the wanted originality. Too much attention is given to the details, and the important things are carelessly left aside. It's too dangerous to play with a little bit of everything. Too complicated to be good.
And, almost at the end of this review of mine, let me go back to the beginning - to the issue one cannot escape: That's Manchevski's first feature film - Before the Rain. I would just like to mention that this film also had three stories, also very fragmented, but still in continuity. They were placed (more or less) in the same time co-ordinates, and linked with the characters. Much more functional and a lot simpler. One very smart man wrote, somewhere, that Nikita Mikhalkov's Burnt by the Sun is the film that marked the end of the 20th century, and Before the Rain marked the beginning of the 21st century. I agree with every syllable of that. There are bright, smart and clever people, at least as much as that anonymous one that I've mentioned above, the one who claims that Dust is a film that will mark if not a new chapter then at least a new page in world film history. Hmmm?
I agree that we all have the right to our own opinion. Of course, it's not an imperative for any film to be acknowledged by everyone. It's a cultural revolution. And we have every right to say what we think. I even have a little more right to say it, because I have few editors above me, and I work in a medium that hasn't been too influential lately. Well, not enough, anyway. Finally, every one with his own arguments and with his own certainty in how much one can influence and change oneself, or the others. Manchevski, however, has said that he's content with the film and that is the most important thing - for him. I agree. I also think that's the most important thing - for myself. So, I hope that Manchevski in the coming decade will be content more often, both with his and the audience's pleasure. Manchevski is Manchevski - both when he enchants and when he makes us anxious. One can't be indifferent either to him or his films. And - Liang (the film director with whom Manchevski shared the Golden Lion in Venice (one of the three best Taiwan film authors) is content - five or six times already. And the critics are content too, and his audience is also content, the same audience he excites with every film he makes. So... Is Manchevski in search for a new audience?
I'm anxious and impatient to see this film's DVD edition. Bearing in mind that the producer is a Westerner, Dust would probably be the first Macedonian (even partially Macedonian) film to be promoted by this new image carrier, and I hope that it will happen very soon. I'm waiting, not to see the film, of course, I've seen it on the big screen, but more because of the extra features common for the DVD editions that the director and the producer of the film will offer. It's always a pleasure to listen to Manchevski and to watch how he works on film. I think... actually, I'm certain that he has so much to tell. And this claim of mine has nothing to do with my optimistic character.

Translated by Petar Volnarovski

Prashina imame, kade e konjot? In: Kinopis, no. 23-24, 2001, pp. 30-39.


NOTE

1 Ilinden: the Orthodox day of Saint Elijah, the day of the Macedonian Uprising for freedom against the Ottoman Empire (on 2 August 1903)