The Woman Who Brushed off Her Tears
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    The Woman Who Brushed off Her Tears

    Directed by

    Macedonia, Germany, Slovenia, Belgium


    103 min

    • French
    • Turkish
    • Macedonian


    Teona Strugar Mitevska’s third film makes use of fairy-tale elements to describe the tragedies of two families. THE WOMAN WHO BRUSHED OFF HER TEARS begins in France and follows its protagonists deep into the forests of Macedonia. In Paris, Helena’s son dies tragically. Desperate to compensate for her loss, she tries to make Lucian, a deportee, a part of her life. As his supervisor, she succeeds in abducting the young man. And so Helena, her husband and Lucian travel to Macedonia where the couple have decided to scatter their son’s ashes and discover the county. In Macedonia Lucian’s lover Ajsun is struggling for her independence. She and Lucian have a young son, but Ajsun’s father has now sold his daughter to another man in order to protect her from the shame of having an illegitimate child. Both Ajsun and Helena must try to hold their own in a male-dominated world. Whereas the director’s last film JAS SUM OD TITOV VELES (which screened in the 2008 Panorama) was set in the post-Communist Balkans, the new work contrasts the hustle and bustle of modern day Paris with life in rural Macedonia. A tale pervaded by stray wolves, magical powers and strange coincidences.



    Victoria Abril
    Labina Mitevska
    Jean Marie Galey
    Arben Bajraktaraj
    Matyas Erdely
    Nicolas Gaster
    Teona Strugar Mitevska

    Teona Strugar Mitevska

    North Macedonia

    I think it is my duty to raise my voice to speak about problems that nobody else dares to speak about. How can we build a better future if we don’t dare to speak about the problems? We must be given the chance to air our opinions freely.

    Born in Skopje in Macedonia in 1974, from the ages of six to twelve Teona Strugar Mitevska appeared as an actor on Macedonian television. Having studied graphic design, she went on to work as an art director and took up film studies in New York in 1998. She made her debut as a short film director with VETA (2001), which received the Special Jury prize at the Berlinale and has since been shown at more than thirty festivals around the world. HOW I KILLED A SAINT (2004) was her first feature film, which premiered at the IFFR Rotterdam, Tiger Competition and has won numerous prizes around the world including Best European Film at the Crossing Europe FF, Linz, Austria. I AM FROM TITOV VELES (2007), premiered at the Toronto IFF - Discovery Section, the 2008 Berlinale Panorama and the 2008 edition of Cannes film festival, ACID selection. The film was screened at more than 80 film festivals around the world and received more than 20 international awards. Her films have screened to acclaim at numerous international film festivals, including THE WOMAN WHO BRUSHED OFF HER TEARS (2012) and WHEN THE DAY HAD NO NAME (2017) which both screened in the Panorama Section of the 2012 Berlinale. Her most recent work is the film GOD EXISTS, HER NAME IS PETRUNYA (2019) which won the 2019 Lux Prize.

    Selected Filmography