Shadows is Milcho Manchevski’s most ambitious film to date, a mysterious, at times elusive work that delves into the mind of a young doctor whose life is turned upside down when he is involved in a car accident. Lazar ...展开Perkov (Borce Nacev) is a man with everything going for him. Young and good-looking, he has a beautiful wife and child, a house and a good job. His nickname is “Lucky,” but something important seems to be missing from his existence. He is constantly trying to live up to the expectations of a demanding mother and a bored spouse. After he barely survives a serious accident, his life changes in unforeseen ways.
He enters into a series of encounters with people who seem to die over and over again: a man with a baby, an old lady speaking an indecipherable foreign dialect and a strikingly seductive young woman. Their only message is “Return what is not yours. Have respect.” As these ghostly apparitions haunt his dreams and invade his waking life, Lazar gradually intuits that they are souls from the afterlife looking for peace. Or perhaps they are figments of his imagination? But why have they chosen him? Lazar seeks out a professor of linguistics as he determines to get to the root of the strange language that the older woman keeps muttering. The professor is away at a conference, but his wife is eager to help – and Lazar soon finds himself involved in a perplexing relationship with this woman, whose life is also an enigma. Meanwhile, his neighbours come and go, people appear only to vanish again, and his wife seems indifferent to his fate as she dallies with a lover on a seaside vacation with their child.
There is a surreal and nightmarish quality to Shadows, Manchevski’s impressive attempt to capture the zeitgeist of his homeland. Confused and troubled, Lazar is perhaps a metaphor for Macedonia, a country that has lived through trauma and is trying to put the pieces back together. A modern-day Lazarus returned from the dead, Lazar tries to make sense of a world that evades rational comprehension. This fascinating exploration of an interior state of mind provides a compelling look into a lost man trying to find his way home again.