|45th Thessaloniki Film Festival – “Illusion” with Three Projections in Thessaloniki|
(Utrinski Vesnik, 23.11.2004) - Macedonian feature film “Illusion” of Svetozar Ristovski, which had its world premiere at the Toronto festival, followed by Tokyo, had its European premiere at the 45th Thessaloniki Film Festival on Sunday evening. Upon the initiative of selector Dimitri Eipides, who selected this film for Toronto too, “Illusion” will have three projections: the premiere was held on November 21, followed by projections on November 26 and 28.
The interest for Ristovski’s film was huge, having in mind that award “Golden Alexander” was presented to Isabelle Uper in the big hall at the same time.
This is Ristovski’s first feature film, for which he wrote the script too (as stated in the catalogue, inspired from “Ivan’s Childhood” by Tarkovsky), with the assistance of Canadian Lea Grace Troy. The film follows the life, i.e. the transformation of small Marko (played by Marko Kovacevic) from a scared and lonely kid, who will express all his unhappiness in the becoming part of a gang, and afterwards becoming a killer. Marko’s family lives in Veles, where his father (played by Vlado Jovanovski) spends his time on bingo and getting drunk, his sister sleeps with numerous men and exhausts her aggression on Marko, while his mother is entirely within her own world. In this catastrophic surrounding, Marko will find his getaway in an abandoned freight car, where he often plays chess by himself, and observes the world through the small dirty window, which always has different nuances. As all things in the life of Marko, the glimmer of hope, which his teacher (Mustafa Nadarevic) will give him by telling that he is a gifted writer, or the strength to fight back and go on, given by a passer-by (Nikola Gjuricko), who due to his indefinite character, appears as an angel guardian in his dreams, will fail him.
On one hand, Ristovski tells his story in a realistic and true manner, but on the other, he manages to introduce poetry through the image, through Marko’s internal struggle, through time and different moments of sorrow, happiness, hope, friendship, fear, indifference. This is done through the photography of Vladimir Samoilovski and the music of Klaus Handsbuchler. However, the thing missing, and which is very important, is the counterbalance. The film simply does not possess the other side in order to be a living one, does not have the realistic other side, which is always present in one or another way. In this way, where everything is dark, dark and truly dark, these is justification in its culmination, but it is not convincing, it is theory, narration, in one part symbolic, logic, but not emotional, warm.
Although this year’s Thessaloniki Festival is less glamorous, it still possesses a wonderful atmosphere. The film selection is fantastic, the audiences are large, while surprises are already here, such as the street performance of a Peruvian group, which attracted the attention at square Aristotle. The festival’s atmosphere was also heated with the presence of great French actress Isabelle Uper. “To me, the most important thing is to find the original meaning of what I work. I cannot imagine my work without thinking, without reflexion, without the influence and communication with the public”. As she stated, film was a tool, which actors should use in order to reach the truth.