European Film Festival Paris
from 17 to 31 March 2022
European Film Festival Paris
from 17 to 31 March 2022

Willow / Врба

by Milcho Manchevski

(Fiction, North Macedonia/Hungary/Belgium, 2019, 101’, C, En ST) with Sara Klimoska, Natalija Teodosieva, Kamka Tocinovski, Nikola Risteski, Nenad Nacev

Willow

A couple in medieval Macedonia cannot conceive. An old woman offers help – but only if they give her their firstborn. Macedonia nowadays. After an in-vitro procedure, Rodna gets pregnant with twins, but it turns out one of the babies will be deformed. Knowing that her husband opposes abortion, she faces a tough choice. Rodna’s sister has adopted a 5-year-old boy. He is very intelligent, but does not say a word. One day he goes missing. Three stories, three unlikely heroines.


« Manchevski secures three outstanding female performances from his main actresses, each one leading her own story of motherhood’s griefs, guilts and impossible sacrifices. Often tragic, often cruel, Willow, as seen through DP Tamas Dobos’ graceful, radiant camera, still retains a lightness and an energy that manages to be, in the end, optimistic, less a story of the willow’s weeping than of its ability to bend with almost infinite suppleness without breaking. » Jessica Kiang, variety.com

Milcho Manchevski
Milcho Manchevski

Milcho Manchevski was born in 1959 in Skopje, Macedonia (former Yugoslavia). After studies in Art History in his home town he completes his education with a BA in Film production at Southern Illinois University in 1983. He first becomes famous as a photographer, artist and director of music videos and experimental shorts. In 1994, his first feature film Before the Rain premieres at Venice Film Festival where it is awarded the Golden Lion for best film. Subsequently, it is also nominated for Academy Award as Best Foreign film from Macedonia shooting its director to global fame. Milcho Manchevski has since directed five features (Dust, Shadows, Mothers, Bikini Moon and Willow), numerous short forms, and an episode of The Wire, winning over 50 international awards in festivals worldwide (Independent Spirit, FIPRESCI, Best Director at Raindance, Best Film at Cinequest, FEDEORA, film of the year in several countries and awards for experimental film). He resides in New York where he writes fiction and essays, takes photographs, creates art and teaches.

Other movies: Competition Prix Sauvage