Before the Rain
Time Out saysA solemn triptych that transports us from the ethnic tensions of Macedonia to the urban strife of London, and back again. In 'Words', we see a monk break his vow of silence to shelter an Albanian girl from a lynch mob; in 'Faces', Anne (Cartlidge), an English picture-editor, refuses to accompany her photographer lover Aleksandar (Serbedzija) to the village where he grew up, and tells her estranged husband that she's pregnant; while in part three, 'Pictures', Aleksandar returns home for the first time in 20 years, and struggles to make sense of the madness infesting his country. As a director, Manchevski is still finding his feet. The tragic portents of the first story are heavily signalled, and the attempt to convey the rhythm of London life in nervy edits is unconvincing, but the boldness of the conception sees him through. Flawed, certainly, and a little infatuated with its own tragic aura, but a brave, compelling work which repays serious attention.