Press on Willow
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■ Press Quotes: Willow
■ “Full of poetry […] Defense of the woman and her right to be a mother are the leitmotifs of Willow. […] A poignant and exciting portrait, light as a willow leaf but as deep as its roots. […] A narrative strongly charged with meaning for a complex film that has its common thread in the willow, a symbol of strength and genesis, a film intertwined with mystical/religious themes that make the atmosphere charged with almost tangible sorrow, reminiscent of Bergman and Tarkovski. […] An articulated and original narrative system, which shows the strength of a woman from the Middle Ages until today.”
■ Manchevski’s work is much more complex than can be imagined. A narrative that – because of the unusual nature of its development and themes – is highly charged with meaning and a religious/mystical subtext that gives Willow a flavor of times gone by – halfway between Bergman and Tarr, a painful fairy tale halfway between the past and the present.“
■ “An emblematic work on the condition of the feminine, always poised between human responsibility and paroxysmal maternal desire, between myth and religion, between irrationality and right. […] Once again Mančevski, as in Before the rain, plays on temporal planes, deconstructs the stories, follows narrative lines that are not perfectly chronological, uses powerful ellipses that disorient the viewer and reshapes events not simply to tell stories but rather to communicate the main essence of this work: to freely describe the feminine, making it an eternal theme, out of time and out of history. […] The Macedonian director hits the mark and presents us with dense – and in some ways shocking – feminine portraits.”
■ The complex folding of time highlights stratified and fragmented flashes of life, moments that are forgotten, non-expressible, buried deep inside the memory, or are legendary, moments that reflect the loop of destiny.
Watching Manchevski's movies is like walking on M.C. Escher's staircase, seemingly going upward but going downward while walking.
The breath-taking photography, beautiful music and magical-realistic ambience make the audience forgot the time sequence and walk into the seemingly illogical narrative.
■ “What a great comeback! Milcho Manchevski’s Willow is bucolic, mythological and contemporary reflection on the scary urge for motherhood and fatherhood. Desperate, tragicomic fairy tale. Amazing directing and acting.