Willow
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    Willow

    Directed by

    Macedonia, Hungary, Belgium, Albania

    2019

    101 min

    • Macedonian

    Drama

    Scope Expanded - 2021 Academy Award Submissions for Best International Feature

    A medieval couple in Macedonia cannot conceive. An old woman offers help – but only if they give her their firstborn. A year after they have a baby, she pays them a visit. A taxi driver hits a man in the street. The ambulance and neighbors come and go. Seated alone on the curb in the rain, he waits for the police. Taken with his honesty, Rodna brings him an umbrella. Three years later they are married, but can’t conceive – until they try in-vitro. She gets pregnant with twins, but turns out one of the babies will be deformed. Knowing that he 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.

    Awards

    • North Macedonia's Official Submission for the 93rd Academy Awards

    Festivals

    Labels & Line Ups

    Credits

    Screenplay
    Milcho Manchevski
    Cinematography
    Tamás Dobos
    Editing
    Nicolas Gaster
    Music
    Kiril Dzajkovski

    Director's Statement

    Love, trust and motherhood are issues that three families in our film – one medieval and two contemporary – deal with. Our characters are faced with moral and personal dilemmas that end up redefining their roles in their communities. They have not set out to change the world or society, but their search for love, trust and motherhood makes them unlikely heroines. On the surface, the beliefs and lifestyles of our characters in the Middle Ages and in contemporary Macedonia could not be more different. Still, there is something in the essence of who we are that has not changed that much over time. The dilemmas our medieval characters face, their pain and joy are clearly reflected, contrasted and complemented by how our contemporaries deal with similar predicaments. I don't think that art can or should solve social dilemmas and conflicts, but it certainly has the power to shine a light on them in a way that no one else in society can. I am drawn to complex narratives that seem simple at first glance. In Willow I continue to explore this.

    Sales
    REEL SUSPECTS
    Production
    SCALA PRODUCTIONS

    Press

    Love, trust and the longing for maternity make an involving triptych.

    The Hollywood Reporter

    Milcho Manchevski

    Milcho Manchevski

    North Macedonia

    Born in Skopje in 1959, he received a degree in film and photography from Southern Illinois University. His first feature film PRED DOŽDOT (BEFORE THE RAIN) won the Golden Lion in Venice in 1994. He has published sto- ries and books of fiction, as well as two books of photographs. In addition to four feature films he has also direct- ed one episode of HBO's THE WIRE, and has made around fifty shorts. He has lived in New York since 1985.