Mirage (2006)

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A young man growing up in a blighted landscape turns inside himself for comfort in this drama. Marko (Marko Kovacevic) is a 13-year-old boy growing up in war-torn Macedonia who is the constant target of thuggish bullies at school, who attack him for his small physical stature and fondness for poetry. Life isn't much better for Marko at home, where his father (Vlado Jovanovski) is an abusive drunk, his mother (Elena Mosevska) is sullen and withdrawn, and his older sister is bitter and hyper-emotional. Encouraged by one of his teachers to explore his creative side, Marko spends much of his spare time in an abandoned building at a railroad yard, where he daydreams and works on his writings. One day, Marko is killing time at his hideaway when he meets a soldier who becomes his friend, confidante, and protector. But is Marko's new friend real, or just a product of his overactive imagination? Mirage (aka Iluzija) was the first dramatic feature from writer and director Svetozar Ristovski.

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Critic Reviews for Mirage

All Critics (11) | Top Critics (7)

Ristovski's debut feature is unremittingly grim and powerful.

May 25, 2006

It is not often that one is confronted with a cinematic social statement so nihilistic and so devoid of hope -- not merely for an individual, but for the whole world around him.

Apr 5, 2006
Observer
Top Critic

Drab, despairing and pointless.

Mar 17, 2006 | Rating: 1.5/4

Marko is clearly a stand-in for an exhausted country, and the symbolism is, at times, oppressively heavy. But Ristovski needs us to feel his nation's torment, and he succeeds.

Mar 17, 2006 | Rating: 2.5/4

Though its downward trajectory may be obvious, the script is a marvel of clarity, economy and metaphor.

Mar 16, 2006 | Full Review…
Variety
Top Critic

It's a grim look at the life of one boy in a country that, at least in Mr. Ristovski's view, seems to have nothing but grimness to offer.

Mar 16, 2006 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…

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