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YOU WON’T BE ALONE (2022, MAK)

This more contemplative arty fantasy than classic folk horror (which I sincerely hoped for) premiered at the Sundance festival, and the Australian-Macedonian filmmaker Goran Stolevski made a film that visually and stylistically is irresistibly reminiscent of films made by Terrence Malick. Perhaps it would be too harsh to say that it was a copy of Malick’s recognizable style, but this drama – a fantasy set somewhere in the mountains of today’s Macedonia in the 19th century, is a pure homage to the American master. There is very little dialogue and the entire film is accompanied by somewhat grandiose epic music with voiceovers spoken by the young witch Nevena (Sara Klimoska). Her mother hid her in a cave as a baby, but the witch’s fate did not escape her, and 16 years later she learns about the witch’s life with the old witch.

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But the young, beautiful and mute witch, whose only betraying feature is her long nails, which she seems to have borrowed from the Jamaican sprinter Merlene Ottey, will want to be human. It was as if the young witch was not satisfied with her destiny and wanted to try what it was like to be human. When he accidentally kills a villager with his claws, he will take her form and truly experience human life in several forms. She will constantly enter the bodies of different people, male and female, adults and children, but just as the old witch who looks like she slept through the eruption of a volcano and the lava pouring over her will warn her at the beginning, she will regret giving up her freedom. . Of course, even in a human body, she will never be accepted among people, and although it seems to me that “You Won’t Be Alone” was another in a series of those modern subversive films with a feminist touch, it all seemed a bit pretentious to me.

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Although the action takes place in Macedonia and the characters speak in Macedonian, this poetic, very lyrical fantasy was filmed in an international co-production and some famous faces were gathered there. One of the bodies that Nevena will inhabit was previously occupied by the Swedish Noomi Rapace, Kassie and the Australian Alice Englert, and there is also the Romanian Anamaria Marinca, whom we remember as the unfortunate woman from “4 months, 3 weeks and 2 days” and some other lesser-known foreigners actors. The rather slow pace of the film was also problematic for me, but it is obvious that Stolevski wanted to make a film of atmosphere, feelings and inner, symbolic subversion in which the witch is condemned to wandering, loneliness and contempt (of course, partly with reason).

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