Mothers (2010 film)

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Mothers film.jpg
Directed by Milcho Manchevski
Produced by Christina Kallas
Written by Milcho Manchevski
Starring Ana Stojanovska
Music by Igor Vasilev Novogradska
Cinematography Vladimir Samoilovski
Edited by Zaklina Stojcevska
Release date
  • 12 September 2010 (2010-09-12)
Country Macedonia
Language Macedonian

Mothers (Macedonian: Мајки / Majki) is a 2010 film by Milcho Manchevski. The internationally co-produced film is notable for its innovative use of fiction[1] and documentary.[2] Manchevski attributes his experiment to his interest in the blurring lines between truth and fiction, drama and documentary.

The three stories[3] focus on three aspects of life in contemporary Republic of Macedonia (a city, a small town and a deserted village). Mothers, whose motto is “The Truth Hurts” explores the nature of truth – all three stories (two fiction and one documentary) are based on real events, but only one - the most incredible - is told as documentary. This story examines the unsolved mystery of the Kichevo serial killer who murdered several retired cleaning women. A crime reporter who covered the stories was arrested, and two days later he was found dead with his head in a bucket of water. A suicide note was found in his cell.

Mothers[4] premiered at the Toronto Film Festival and had its European premiere in the Panorama section of the 61st Berlin International Film Festival.


Three stories, all true, one real.[5] Employing an innovative structure, the three stories in Mothers highlight the delicate relationship of truth and fiction, of drama and documentary. What is the nature of truth? The film eschews neat narrative devices and pushes to confront their own definitions of filmic reality.


  • Ana Stojanovska as Ana
  • Ratka Radmanovic as Grandma
  • Salaetin Bilal as Grandpa
  • Vladimir Jacev as Kole
  • Maria Kozhevnikova
  • Dimitar Gjorgjievski as Simon
  • Irina Apelgren as Salina
  • Emilija Stojkovska as Bea
  • Milijana Bogdanoska as Kjara
  • Dime Ilijev as Sergeant Janeski
  • Marina Pankova as Mrs. Matilda
  • Goran Trifunovski as Zoki
  • Petar Mircevski as Raspusto
  • Blagoja Spirkovski-Dzumerko as Laze
  • Boris Corevski as Baterija
  • Tamer Ibrahim as Officer Iljov


The film was written and directed by Milcho Manchevski, and produced by Christina Kallas. Vladimir Samoilovski was the director of photography, David Munns was the production designer, Zaklina Stojcevska edited the film, and the music was composed by Igor Vasilev and Novogradska. Principal photography took place in Mariovo, Macedonia, Kicevo, Macedonia, and Skopje, Macedonia.


The film won the following awards:[6]

  • Minsk International film festival Listopad: "Award for Film as Art Phenomenon", 2011
  • Directing award – LIFFE 2011
  • European Film Committee recommendation - 24th EFA Film Awards invitation, 2011
  • Cinema City Festival: FEDEORA (Federation of Film Critics of Europe and the Mediterranean), 2011
  • FEST: Critics Award for Best FEST Film “Nebojsa Djukelic”, 2011
  • FEST: Special Jury Prize in the selection "Europe Out of Europe", 2011
  • MTV Adria Movie Awards: Best Movie nomination, 2011
  • Macedonian Academy Award Submission: Best Foreign-Language Film, 2010

Critical reception[edit]

Mothers was well received by the audience and critics a like. It was widely praised, and has said to "grab your attention from the beginning till end", one reviewer had said.[7]

Rotten Tomatoes scored the film at 58%, with an average score of 3.5/5.[8]

Alissa Simon writing in Variety said "There's a stew of ideas simmering in "Mothers," but unfortunately none of them emerge fully cooked".[9] Natasha Senjanovic of The Hollywood Reporter said "Manchevski mixes fiction with documentary in a film that hits home on an emotional rather than intellectual level".[10]

Diego Pierini writing in LoudVision said Mothers is a very strange film, sometimes sophisticated, poignant and often elliptical.[...] One of the most interesting and original filmmakers of recent years [...] One of those authors who are not afraid to face the genres and to push the boundaries.[11]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Compelling "Mothers" Mixes Truth and Fiction" (PDF). 
  2. ^ "On Manchevski's Mothers" (PDF). 
  3. ^ "Mothers" (PDF). 
  4. ^ "TIFF Mothers" (PDF). 
  5. ^ "Compelling "Mothers", mixes truth and fiction" (PDF). 
  6. ^ "Mothers" (PDF). 
  7. ^ Manchevski, Milcho (2010-10-18), Mothers, retrieved 2016-09-19 
  8. ^ Mothers, retrieved 19 June 2016 
  9. ^ Simon, Alissa (12 September 2010). "Review: ‘Mothers’". Variety. Retrieved 20 September 2016. 
  10. ^ Senjanovic, Natasha (21 February 2011). "Mothers: Berlin Review". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 20 September 2016. 
  11. ^ Perini, Diego (9 June 2011). "L'arte. Troppo preziosa per negoziare". LoudVision. Retrieved 6 October 2016. 

External links[edit]