film review: SHADOWS (SENKI)

Directed by Milcho Manchevski
Produced by Micho Manchevski, Amedeo Pagani, Corinna Mehner, Nermin Gladers, Martin Husmann, Dimitar Gochev, Gerardo Herrero & Mariela Besuievsky
Released by Mitropoulos Films
Republic of Macedonia/Germany/Italy/Bulgaria/Spain. 119 min. Not Rated
Cast: Borce Nacev, Vesna Stanojevska, Sabina Ajrula-Tozija, Salaetin Bilal, Ratka Radmanovic, Filareta Atanasova, Dime Iliev & Petar Mircevski

Article originally appeared: http://film-forward.com/shadows.html

What is cinema’s preoccupation with desecrated burial sites? How many movies have to be made before this topic has finally run its course? Perhaps Macedonian director Milcho Manchevski  is not aware that there is an entire genre of movies devoted to the spirit world diaspora, where souls who have a bone to pick wander the earth haunting those who still use VHS players or have wells hidden in their backyards. That genre is commonly known as J-horror.

Shadows is Manchevski’s third film, following the well-received “Before the Rain” (1994) and the more recent “Dust” (2001). Exactly what the urge was to tell this particular story is a mystery. The film brings nothing new to a tired movie genre (“The Sixth Sense”, “The Ring”, etc.) except, perhaps, for its beautiful Mediterranean locations and the nakedness of several lovely Macedonian women. Machevski’s camera lingers on the women’s bodies to the point where you feel a little complicit in his salaciousness.

The story follows Lazar Perkov (Borce Nacev), son of a renowned physician Dr. Vera Perkova (Sabina Arjula-Tozija) and himself a medical resident at the local university hospital. After an argument with his wife, Lazar—or Lucky as he is known to his loved ones—leaves his apartment. Moments later, he is in a terrible car crash. As a crowd gathers and emergency vehicles arrive, someone pulls Lucky out from the debris only moments before he would have been crushed under the wreckage. Read more