Dust (2001 film)

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DVD cover
Directed by Milcho Manchevski
Produced by
  • Chris Auty
  • Vesna Jovanoska
  • Domenico Procacci
Written by Milcho Manchevski
Music by Kiril Džajkovski
Cinematography Barry Ackroyd
Edited by Nicolas Gaster
Distributed by
Release dates
  • August 29, 2001 (2001-08-29) (Venice)
  • May 3, 2002 (2002-05-03) (United Kingdom)
Running time
127 minutes
  • Macedonia
  • United Kingdom
  • English
  • Macedonian

Dust (Macedonian: Прашина; Prašina; Prashina) is a 2001 British-Macedonian Western drama film, written and directed by Milcho Manchevski, and starring Joseph Fiennes, David Wenham, Adrian Lester, Anne Brochet, Vera Farmiga, and Rosemary Murphy. The film premiered at the Venice Film Festival on August 29, 2001, and was released in the United States two years later.


A New York thief, a tough-as-nails hundred-year-old woman, two brothers from the Wild West, a revolutionary hell-bent on liberating Macedonia from the Ottoman Empire, and a beautiful pregnant woman all cross paths in a tale that spans two continents and three centuries. Its fractured narrative resembles a Cubist painting.

Dust opens in present-day New York City with a young criminal, Edge (Adrian Lester), being confronted at gunpoint by an ailing old woman, Angela (Rosemary Murphy), whose apartment he is attempting to burglarize. While he awaits an opportunity to escape, she launches into a tale about two outlaw brothers, Luke and Elijah, at the turn of the 20th century, who travel to Ottoman-controlled Macedonia. The two brothers have transient ill will between them, and they become estranged when confronted with a beautiful woman, Lilith (Anne Brochet).

In the New York storyline, Edge hunts for Angela's gold to pay back a debt, and gradually grows closer to her. In the Macedonian story, the brothers end up fighting for opposite sides of a revolution, with the religious Elijah (Joseph Fiennes) taking up sides with the Ottoman sultan and gunslinger Luke (David Wenham) joining "the Teacher" (Vlado Jovanovski), a Macedonian rebel.



The film was written and directed by Milcho Manchevski, and produced by Chris Auty, Vesna Jovanoska and Domenico Procacci. The music for the film was composed by Kiril Džajkovski. Principal photography took place in a number of countries and locations, including Cologne, Germany, New York City, United States, and Bitola, Macedonia.[1]


Dust opened at the Venice Film Festival on August 29, 2001, and was later released in Italy on April 5, 2002.[2] Pathé distributed the film in the United Kingdom on May 3, 2002. In Spain, the film was released on July 12, 2002 by Alta Classics. It was given a limited release in the United States on August 22, 2003, where it was distributed by Lionsgate Films.


Critical response[edit]

The film received mostly mixed to negative reviews from film critics. On the review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds a 21% rating, based on 14 critical reviews, with an average rating of 3.9/10.[3] David Stratton of Variety, gave the film a poor review, writing: "Essentially a Euro Western, spectacularly lensed in Macedonia [the] film borrows freely and unwisely from superior predecessors in the genre, while struggling to explore interesting themes involving the personal legacy we hand down to our descendants. [The film's] main problem in positioning itself commercially is that it straddles the genres: It's too arty to cut it as a violent action pic and too gore-spattered to appeal to the arthouse crowd."[4]

Kevin Thomas of the Los Angeles Times wrote: "Dust is a bust, a big bad movie of the scope, ambition and bravura that could be made only by a talented filmmaker run amok."[5] Elvis Mitchell of The New York Times wrote: "Milcho Manchevski's stylized western, Dust, is a potent, assured and ambitious piece of filmmaking brought down by weighted dialogue and, playing Americans, the British actors Adrian Lester and Joseph Fiennes and the Australian David Wenham. This dazzling and dazed movie begins on the streets of contemporary New York, as a camera moseys down a street and then crawls up the side of a building, peering into several windows as various apartment dwellers play out their lives. It's as if Mr. Manchevski were thumbing through a selection of stories as we watch, deciding which appeal to him the most."[6]


Year Award Category Recipient(s) Result
2004 Golden Reel Award Best Sound Editing in a Foreign Feature Film Peter Baldock, Jack Whittaker, Philip Alton, Tim Hands, Daniel Laurie, Richard Todman Nominated


  1. ^ Holley, David (June 6, 2001). "Film Explores a Timeless 'Dust' Swirling in the Balkans". Los Angeles Times. 
  2. ^ Gibbons, Fiachra (April 13, 2001). "Guardian Features: 'Come on. It'll be fun'". The Guardian. 
  3. ^ "Dust (2001)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved June 12, 2016. 
  4. ^ Stratton, David (August 29, 2001). "Review: 'Dust'". Variety. 
  5. ^ Thomas, Kevin (August 21, 2003). "Dust Review". Los Angeles Times. 
  6. ^ Mitchell, Elvis (August 22, 2003). "Dust (2001) Film Review; Gunfight at the Old Macedonian Corral: A Western With a Flexible Compass". The New York Times. 

External links[edit]