Magazine article Screen International

The Woman Who Brushed off Her Tears

Magazine article Screen International

The Woman Who Brushed off Her Tears

Article excerpt

Dir/scr: Teona Strugar Mitevska. Macedonia-Germany-Slovenia-Belgium, 2012. 103mins

The Woman Who Brushed Off Her Tears certainly sets out to be 'The Film That Grabbed Viewers' Attention', subjecting Helena (Victoria Abril) to a brisk rape by her own son Noah (Gjorgievski) in the opening minutes, before, claiming abuse by his father Emil (Galey), he leaps to his death off the balcony of their Paris apartment.

Abril's character is always an uncomfortable fit in the story.

Teona Strugar Mitevska's second feature (her short, Veta, won a Jury award in Berlin a decade ago) is made with her sister Labina (Welcome To Sarajevo) as the second female lead, playing a young country peasant, Ajsun. Single mother of IIkin (Varka) and cause of her violent father's dishonour, Asjun is one of Macedonia's Juruci people, who live near the town of Radovish and wear brightly-coloured costumes (to the delight of Monika Lorber's costume department and Matyas Erdely's camera).

Helena and Ajsun are connected via Lucian (Bajraktaraj), IIkin's father, a paroled drug smuggler who comes under the professional care of probation officer Helena in Paris - but who desperately wants to get back to his fiancé and son in Macedonia.

Lucian's quest meets Helena's need to set the past right in The Woman Who Brushed Off Her Tears with the Mitevska sisters - Labina also produced - turning in an ambitious film which works better in Macedonia for the first part than it ever manages in Paris. …

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