The Great Water (2005)
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Critic Reviews for The Great Water
Pic's balance of emotional truth in the hands of a talented cast and charged by Medencevic's lensing and Kiril Dzajkovski's powerfully moody score, reps a bold step forward for Balkan cinema.
It is an impressionistic, sometimes fascinating, sometimes frustrating, window into a culture and country that was long walled off from the West.
All of it, Chingo and Trajkov suggest, goes into shaping a Macedonian national identity uneasily poised between religious longing and ideological resolve.
You leave this film intrigued by its aspiration and not likely to forget the world it's introduced you to.
The Great Water is ultimately about the indomitability of faith, and the Christian symbolism is laid on thick.
Audience Reviews for The Great Water
Macedonian blockbuster is more successful as a technical accomplishment than as an engaging narrative.
The Great Water (2005) - "Friendship must be earned. I didn't understand what that meant then, but I remembered those words for the rest of my life." - Lem Nikodinoski Based on Zhivko Chingo's novel and set in 1945, "The Great Water" is the harrowing story of twelve year old Lem, whose parents were "removed" for their opposition to Tito-Stalin. The story takes place in an camp designed to recondition the kids for their eventual absorption into the collective. An unflinching recollection of the madness that was Stalin, of the human vermin that rose in its (his) shadow, their victims, and the terrible courage of the youngsters who resisted, "Great Water" is a punishing film. The story is much more than a confession, or a stark reminder of a page in the history of a land that has had it's share of violence. There was a greater evil in Europe in the years leading up to 1945 and strange bedfellows combined to crush him. In the wake of Germany's destruction, Tito rose to join Stalin and Democracy stood across the borders and glared at him until Tito's death in 1980. The land that was Yugoslavia began to unravel shortly afterward, accelerating in the 1990s, eventually leading to brutal ethnic violence and the ultimate intervention by NATO in early 2000. A beautiful people, their capacity for violence has always mystified me. Perhaps now I have a greater appreciation of the passions, and a greater kinship.
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