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The Great Water

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Original title
Golemata voda (The Great Water)
Running time
93 min.
FYROM (Former Yugoslav Republic Of Macedonia) FYROM (Former Yugoslav Republic Of Macedonia)
Ivo Trajkov, Vladimir Blazevski (Novel: Zivko Cingo)
Kiril Dzajkovski
Suki Medencevic
, , , , , , , ,
Co-production Macedonia-USA-Germany-Czech Republic; Artis 3 / LARA Entertainment / Kaval Film / Castor Productions / World Circle Foundation
Drama | 1940s
Official Site
Synopsis / Plot
The great fuss and commotion around Lem Nikodinoski, as he is rushed to the
emergency room, is suggesting to us that he is a person of great importance. In this critical moment, while the doctors are fighting for his life, during his near death experience, he goes back to his childhood, at the age of twelve. He re-lives his troubled childhood filled with surreal, magical moments, a time of an eternal battle of the individual against the system.

His is the story about the greatest friendship and greatest betrayal, a story about a conflict between religion and the communist dogma, material and the spiritual
world. World War II had just ended. Young Lem, like so many war orphans, wanders aimlessly through the countryside until he is caught like a wild animal by communist soldiers. He is taken to the children's orphanage, a medieval fortress with the biggest walls imaginable, adjacent to an abandoned factory near a big lake. This “dungeon” is where his true hardships begin.

The orphanage is in fact an “ideological” labor camp where the children of the
“enemies of the Revolution” are brought to be ideologically "reprogrammed". Here, in the spirit of the great Revolution, the deeds of the Communist Party and The
Great God Stalin are glorified.

Order and discipline are the rule of the day in the orphanage. The Headmaster,
comrade Ariton, is an ambitious, rigid man, but deep inside he is also an honest
man. The warden’s assistant, Comrade Olivera, is a young girl indoctrinated with the new Communist ideology. She is a worshipper of The Great Stalin, determined to mold the children in the orphanage, as well as the rest of the world, after the ways of the Revolution.

However even this brutal and strict “dungeon” has its secrets. Late at night, while everybody is asleep, a beautiful, fairy-like woman graciously walks by the walls of the fortress, careful to avoid the searchlights from the watch tower. The warden, deep in his thoughts and unable to sleep, smokes a cigarette in the dark, under the dead tree in the middle of the huge courtyard. Little Lem is sleepless himself, with a premonition that something unusual is about
to happen.

The next day a mysterious and charismatic, aristocratic looking 13-year old boy, Isaac, arrives at the orphanage. From the very beginning it is clear that Isaac is somebody special, somebody who will be the first one with the courage to question authority and stoically endure the brutal consequences of such actions.

Lem is intrigued by the mystique that surrounds Isaac and feels that this new boy might be the solution for his desperation. He sets out to slowly create a bond of friendship with Isaac as his only chance for survival. From this moment on, nothing in the orphanage will be as before.
2005: Valencia Festival of Mediterranean Cinema: Golden Palm, Best Cinematography, Best Director, Best Soundtrack
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