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  goEast 2004

Macedonia 2004
Director: Svetozar Ristovski, 103 MIN

A sentence by Nietzsche sets the atmosphere for this film: “Hope is the worst of all evils, for it prolongs the torment of man.” Young Marko’s life is a living hell – masquerading as family and school. In the place that other people call their home, Marko has to face an out-of-work, perpetually drunk father, a big sister whose only way to articulate her egotism is screaming, and a silent, suffering mother, who seems to have said her goodbyes to everything around her. In school he regularly gets beaten up by a gang of brutal bullies – because of his good grades. They are also the reason why his teacher wants to motivate him to write a poem about his home-country for the next celebration. Marko sees this as a ray of hope, because the reward for the poem would be a trip to Paris – and a chance to escape this living hell. He finds refuge in an empty boxcar and begins to rhyme, but the torment doesn’t stop. A mercenary teaches him how to fight back – if necessary with violence – but Marko’s newfound self-confidence gets him in trouble. When his teacher opportunistically turns on him, Marko’s hope for change vanishes. Now he has nothing left to lose. And he acts accordingly.
Svetozar Ristovski, who received the Hertie-Documentary-Award for JOY OF LIFE at goEast 2002, uses his first feature to paint a bleak picture of the current situation in his native Macedonia, showing the results of war and violence by means of the fate of an adolescent. “I don’t see a particularly bright future for us,” he says – while his film delivers the images that prove his point.

Caligari: 11.04. / 5.30 p.m.
Bambi: 12.04. / 4 p.m.

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