Synopsis by Mark Deming
A man near the end of his life relives a crucial period from his youth in this powerful drama. Lem Nikodinoski (Meto Jovanovski) is a prominent Macedonian politician who has suffered a severe heart attack. As Lem drifts between life and death, his mind wanders to his childhood, and he observes his younger self (played by Saso Kekenovski) during his days in a camp for children whose parents were unwilling to embrace Russia's Stalinist regime following World War II. Ariton (Mitko Apostolovski), the camp's headmaster, is a strong taskmaster, but he displays a genuine compassion for his charges; Olivera (Verica Nedeska), his second in command, takes a more stern approach, and is willing to dole out physical punishment to any child who does not absorb her Stalinist teachings. One day, a new boy enters the camp, Isak (Maja Stankovska), who displays a calm but resilient nature that's different from the fearful attitudes of the other children. After initial resistance, Lem becomes close friends with Isak, and their friendship helps Lem confront the horrors of camp life in a new way. Writer and director Ivo Trajkov cast teenage actress Maja Stankovska to play Isak after a long series of unsuccessful auditions failed to find a young man who had the right look for the role.
aura [mystique], betrayal, bonding [relationship], childhood, Communism, desperation, friendship, headmaster, labor-camp, orphanage, post-war, premonition, secrets