Phase9 Movies 2000-12

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Year: 2001
USA: Lions Gate Films
UK: Pathe Distribution
Cast: Joseph Fiennes, David Wenham, Adrian Lester, Anne Brochet, Rosemary Murphy, Nikolina Kujaca, Vlado Jovanovski, Salaetin Bilal, Vera Farmiga, Matthew Ross, Meg Gibson, Tamer Ibrahim, Louise Goodall, Vladimir Jacev, Vladimir Gjorgjijoski, Zora Georgieva, Jordan Simonov, Josif Josifovski, Joe Mosso, Saundra McClain, Nick Sandow, Bruce Macvittie, Tom Strauss, Milica Stojanova, Stanko Stoilkov, Petar Mircevski, Mladen Krstevski, Stojan Arev, Pavle Dameski, Martin Mircevski, Danilo Mandic, Krste Jovanovski, Rubens Muratovski, Judith Windsor, Randy Duke, Afrodita Atanasova, Jon Ivanovski, Blagoj Micevski, Elena Mosevska, Jordanka Todorova, Boris Corevski, Blagoja Spirkoski-Dzumerko, Norman Naudain, Sefedin Nuredini, Vebi Kerimi, Koljo Cerkezov, Vanco Melev, Vladimir Gjuzelov, Dimitar Nikolov-Taki, Riad Tahir, Erduan Maksut, Jean Francois Guissouegou, Vasko Mihajlov, Zoran Ljutkov, Srdjan Milosevic, Neat Ali, Branko Koncaliev, Atanas Georgiev, Ivanoski, Blagoja Lefteroski, Igor Dimitrov, Andrijana Boskoska, Lidija Ivanovska, Marjan Cakmakoski, Kristijan Risteski, Radica Zdravevska, Sonja Osavkova, Katarina Ilievska, Natasa Zlatevska, Angela Visnjevskaja, Vanja Dimitrova, Vladimir Jordanov, Filip Todorov, Milanco Georgiev, Gjorgji Usta Petrov, Dzemail Demir, Ismet Ali, Goce Naumov
Director: Milcho Manchevski
Countries: UK / Germany / Italy / Republic of Macedonia
USA & UK: 127 mins
USA Rated: R for sequences of strong violence, sexual content and language
UK Certificate: 18 contains frequent strong violence and language
USA Release Date: 22 August 2003 (LImited Release)
UK Release Date: 3 May 2002

New York, 2000. Frail, elderly Angela (Rosemary Murphy) overwhelms Edge (Adrian Lester) after he breaks into her apartment in search of cash. He is desperate, heavily in debt to a pair of cops who will soon be returning for their pound of flesh. Angela is unimpressed by his predicament and breaks his nose. Then she tells him a story:

The American West, 1900. Two brothers, Luke (David Wenham) and Elijah (Joseph Fiennes), have fallen for a fiery French prostitute, Lilith (Anne Brochet). Elijah, the scripture-quoting younger brother wins her hand, leaving the bitter Luke to find his fortune elsewhere. Luke heads for Europe and he travels to the Wild East where the fall of the Ottoman Empire offers a golden opportunity for outlaws and hired guns. In Macedonia, his sharpshooting skills make him the natural leader of a bloodthirsty gang. Together they go after the bounty on the head of the Teacher, the inspirational leader of the Macedonian Revolutionaries. But Luke is still pursued by his past and in particular, his brother, Elijah, who appears in this mountain tinderbox hell-bent on revenge.

Elijah shoots to kill but Luke survives his brother's bullet and escapes farther into the mountains. He is found and nursed back to health by Neda (Nikolina Kujaca), a beautiful local girl who is carrying the child of Teacher, the man Luke was hunting for bounty. Before her baby is born, Teacher is killed by the Ottoman soldiers. When Luke is offered gold to save Neda and the baby, he takes the money and leaves her to the ruthless army.

Alone in a hospital bed in New York, Angela is fading. She looks forward to a visit from her eager young housebreaker. Edge brought her here after she collapsed in her apartment, terrified that she might die before revealing her secret. Angela knows that he's after her gold and she's willing to strike a bargain. Edge is her only hope of fulfilling her wish to be buried where she came from, far away in the mountains, but also her only company in her last days and - most importantly - the one to pick up and carry on her story.

In Macedonia, Luke flees with Neda's gold, when angry Elijah confronts him at a mountaintop spring and tells him that their beloved Lilith is long dead. Elijah blames Luke for her suicide. Wounded and destitute, Luke is about to die…

… when Angela dies in the New York hospital. Edge is devastated, but decides to fulfil Angela's last wish, cremating her body and burying her where she was born.

In the cabin of an eastbound airplane, Edge tells Angela's story to an unbelieving girl in the next seat: Luke cannot die, he's a hero. Realising his moral ineptitude, Luke determines to do one good deed before he dies: he returns to the village to rescue Neda, the woman who saved his life, and her unborn baby. He makes a brave, if suicidal attempt to save her from the army. In the process, he inadvertently kills her, but manages to save her newborn baby, before he himself is killed in a monstrous battle. Neda's child is miraculously spared from slaughter and is found by Elijah. He decides to adopt her and take her to New York. He holds baby Angela, the same Angela who was telling the story in New York, in his arms and looks up into the sky...

In the cabin of an eastbound airplane, Edge finishes Angela's story to an unbelieving girl in the next seat, then pulls out a photo of himself with the cowboy brothers. The lines between reality and storytelling are beginning to blur.

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