How I Killed a Saint (2006)


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A brother and sister caught on separate sides of the Macedonian conflict in the former Yugoslav republic struggle to make sense of a land teetering on the brink of civil war in director Teona Strugar Mitevska's intimate war drama. Viola (Labina Mitevska) has just returned to her hometown of Skopje after finishing college in the United States. Soon after realizing that her younger brother Kokan (Milan Tocinovski-Sako) has become deeply involved with a group of ultra-nationalistic political thugs, Viola accompanies Kokan on a dangerous mission to pick up a shipment of money at the Albanian border unaware that she is simply being used as cover for his shady dealings. As the pair begin the harrowing trek back to their hometown, Viola confides in her brother that she gave birth to a child while away at school and left the young girl in the care of an American diplomat. Now determined to reclaim her offspring at all costs, Viola bides her time in getting back to Skopje safely and doing what it takes to reconnect with the child she previously chose to leave behind.


Critic Reviews for How I Killed a Saint

All Critics (6) | Top Critics (5)

The film is light on story, but the gritty, no-nonsense filmmaking keeps things moving, and Mitevska's tale has an undeniably touching cumulative effect.

May 18, 2006 | Full Review…

Though weak in the drama department, the story of a brother and sister who love each other but have different political ideas and personal agendas effectively captures the tension of the time.

May 5, 2006
Top Critic

How I Killed a Saint boasts dynamic performances by the two leads, as well as tight directing (a lot happens in just 82 minutes) and eye-pleasing cinematography.

May 4, 2006 | Rating: 3/4

Filmed in a covert, voyeuristic style, How I Killed a Saint successfully conveys the pervasive anxiety of a country teetering on the brink of civil war.

May 3, 2006 | Rating: 3/5

Kokan's resentment runs deep -- too deep, unfortunately, for an 82-minute feature to spell out with any clarity.

May 2, 2006

Mitevska telescopes centuries of conflict between nations into an intimate story of siblings whose hopes for the future are being slowly poisoned by the sins of the past.

May 5, 2006 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

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