Analysis of Before the Rain
Before the Rain, filmed on location in the Republic of Macedonia and in London is a trilogy that focuses on the conflict between Muslims and Orthodox Christians in the Balkans. The three chapters of the trilogy are " Words," " Faces" and " Pictures." Director Milcho Manchevski states; " Before the Rain, refers to the feeling of heavy expectation, when the skies are pregnant with the possibility of an outburst, when people are silent, waiting for a tragedy of cleansing"(1).
The movie is a circle in itself, showing the reoccurring cycles of violence and hate. In the first chapter, "Words," the audience is introduced to Kirkil, a Macedonian Monk who has taken a vow of silence. Kirkil discovers an Albanian girl hiding in his room. She is suspected of killing a Christian. Kirkil decision to protect her ends with dire consequences. Since he has taken a vow of silence, the viewer never really understands who he is. His vow of silence reinforces the old adage, "hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil." Kirkil does not see of feel the political problems going on around him. The atmosphere in this part is " heavy with anticipation and foreboding, as before a heavy rain"(2).
The second chapter, "Faces," introduces Anne, a London photo editor. Anne is torn between two men Nick, her estranged husband for whom she has a little passion, and Aleksander, a passionate, Pulitzer Prize-winning war photographer. Anne's personal crisis heightens when a conflict suddenly erupts in a London restaurant and Nick is killed.
Aleksander leaves his life in London to return to his childhood village in Macedonia in third chapter, "Pictures." Things have changed dramatically in the years since he left; old neighbors have turned into enemies. Aleksander is thrown into an ethnic conflict, which has tragic consequences.
"The construction of Manchevski's story is intended to demonstrate the futility of ancient hatreds. There are a few moments in the film in which hatred of others is greater than love of one's own. Imagine a culture where a man would rather kill his daughter than allow her to love a man from another culture, and one will have an idea of the depth of bitterness in this film, the insane lengths to which men can be driven by belief and prejudice" ( Ebert 3).
Mise-en-scene is a French term roughly translated as " what is put into the
Scene." Before the Rain, uses examples of mise-en-scene through out the movie. Each of the three chapters is opened with a plane flying across a...