By Lisa Schwarzbaum
July 15, 2005 at 04:00 AM EDT

The Great Water


In the anguished Macedonian drama The Great Water, adapted from Zhivko Chingo’s novel by director Ivo Trajkov, an ailing Communist politician conjures deathbed memories of his tormented boyhood in a Stalinist orphanage for children of political offenders. No kindly teacher steps in, á la Les Choristes, offering the balm of music. But wait, it gets sadder, with imagery even more fevered: The young Lem (Saso Kekenovski) admires Isak (Maja Stankovska, a girl believably cast as a boy), a mysteriously spiritual newcomer, who in turn is attracted to a fervent party follower, who. . .Well, none of it is good, and all of it, Chingo and Trajkov suggest, goes into shaping a Macedonian national identity uneasily poised between religious longing and ideological resolve.

The Great Water

  • Movie
  • 90 minutes
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  • The Great Water