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Before the Rain (The Criterion Collection) (1994)

Grégoire Colin , Phyllida Law , Milcho Manchevski  |  Unrated |  DVD
4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (80 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Grégoire Colin, Phyllida Law, Peter Needham, Rade Serbedzija, Joe Gould
  • Directors: Milcho Manchevski
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Criterion
  • DVD Release Date: June 24, 2008
  • Run Time: 103 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (80 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0016AKSO6
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #75,445 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Before the Rain (The Criterion Collection)" on IMDb

Special Features

  • Audio Commentary
  • New video interview with actor Rade Serbedzija
  • Manchevski's award-winning music video for Arrested Development's "Tennessee"
  • Stills galleries of Manchevski's photographs and on-set shots
  • A new essay by film scholar Ian Christie

Editorial Reviews

The first film made in the newly independent Republic of Macedonia, Milcho Manchevski’s Before the Rain crosscuts the stories of an orthodox Christian monk (Grégoire Colin), a British photo agent (Katrin Cartlidge), and a native Macedonian war photographer (Rade Šerbedžija) to paint a portrait of simmering, entrenched ethnic and religious hatred about to reach its boiling point. Made during the strife of the war-torn Balkan states in the nineties, this gripping triptych of love and violence is also a timeless evocation of the loss of pastoral innocence, and remains one of recent cinema’s most poetic evocations of the futility of war.


• New, restored high-definition digital transfer, supervised and approved by director Milcho Manchevski • Audio commentary featuring Manchevski and film scholar Annette Insdorf • New video interview with actor Rade Šerbedžija • Manchevski's award-winning music video for Arrested Development's "Tennessee" • Stills galleries of Manchevski's photographs and on-set shots • Theatrical trailer • New and improved English subtitle translation • PLUS: A new essay by film scholar Ian Christie • More!

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
53 of 58 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the Greatest Films of Our Time June 13, 2000
Format:VHS Tape
I never grow tired of watching BEFORE THE RAIN. It is, first, a stunningly beautiful piece of cinematography. The camera pans natural vistas, churches, London streets, and the faces of the interlocking characters with sensitivity, wisdom, and love. The three parts of the film mesh with perfect paradox, underscoring the recurring theme that time is not a circle. We see the young, the old, the weak, the strong, the living, and the dead all intermingling with an incoherent rap song which blasts from speakers the world over. The pacing is ideal; the plot is ingenious; the message is eternal. BEFORE THE RAIN should be reissued on videocassette and offered on DVD. It moves me as much as any film I've ever seen. Even American high-school students are captivated by it, and that in itself in a small miracle!
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25 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great film about a great tragedy September 18, 2004
In watching this movie you can understand the Balkan conflict better than if you readfive books on the subject. It is about the power of war crushing the innocence of love. good acting all around and wonderful cinematography. We need a DVD relase of this one! those reading this review please tell amazon you want a DVD version, as more and more people switch exclusively to DVD it would be a shame of if this gem were forgotten.
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23 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Captures the Haunting Spirit of Place and Time October 2, 2000
By EriKa
Format:Audio CD
Dark, dramatic, mysterious, intriguing laments in musical form that perfectly fit with the film of the same name. The music is at once gripping, captivating, alluring, and even dangerous. It intoxicates and transports you to the place and time of the music. Indeed, it is an experience to listen to it. This is the mark of a great soundtrack, I think. One which can be taken outside the context of the film for which it was made and played again and again, still evoking the images of the film (or evoking other, perhaps more powerful feelings).
I loved this film (also highly recommend it), but the soundtrack is exquisite and stands alone as a musical achievement.
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18 of 21 people found the following review helpful
By Breyel
Finally, BEFORE THE RAIN is on DVD. Best of all, the folks at Criterion picked up this marvelous film and have restored it to pristine quality. The digital transfer was supervised and approved by director Milcho Manchevski. It is presented in its original aspect ratio of 1.78:1. The sound is in Dolby Digital Stereo 2.0. There's an accompanying audio commentary and an interview with Rade Serbedzija who played Aleksander (more about him later) in the film. Also included is an essay by film scholar Ian Christie and the original trailer and few other goodies.

What's BEFORE THE RAIN about? A simple synopsis of the film will not suffice. Essentially it is a poetic, albeit tragic look at war and love in the Balkans of the 1990s made by Macedonian director, Milcho Manchevski.

Here's why it's a brilliant film. The photography and music from the Macedonian group "Anastasia" -- Before The Rain (Pred Dozhdot): Original Motion Picture Soundtrack -- is breathtaking and lingers with you days after watching/listening to it. The tripartite narrative structure challenges the linearity of history by linking unsuspecting people, events and objects in a cause-and-effect context. Lastly, it explores how religious, gender and ethnic differences in Macedonia shape both love and politics, even in a global context.

Like all film-makers, Manchevski tells his story with Words, Faces and Pictures. In BEFORE THE RAIN these three components become three parts of the film, in which characters and events are intertwined. In Words, a young Macedonian monk named Kiril (Grégoire Colin) from a 12th-century monastery, has taken a vow of silence.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Enchanting Music that can Nourish Your Soul October 29, 1999
By A Customer
Format:Audio CD
The first time I heard the music I never cared for anything else except to listen to its entirety. It's rhythm is strong, strikingly sad and forceful. As if sadness is also a measure of courage. The chantings are like yearnings for something deeper that was long lost. As if human beings lost its connection to life and love. The transition of songs was symbolic of emotional freedom to submit to everything... to the cycle of pain, love, death and rebirth which are inevitable and we are all bound. How indeed the rain comes to mark the glories of losing yet regaining... for wounded hearts to find its peace despite mourning...and for our spirits to find its Source after all wanderings and attachments to things and thougths. Until now I listen to the album whenever I travel (especially at night or dawn) or whenever I seem to feel the twinge of pain of living life with all its contradictions.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A modern masterpiece on ancient Macedonian foundations January 17, 2002
By Archel
Format:Audio CD
These compositions are a brilliant modern showcase of traditional Macedonian music, combining stylistic, rhythmic and melodic influences from Macedonia's rich culture (which has been developing since several hundred years before Christ) with modern compositional insight, including brilliant arrangements.
Anastasia is one of Macedonia's most professional, cohesive, progressive and most talented bands in a while (along with 'Synthesis,' who are probably even better).
Outstanding musicianship with FEEL most bands can only dream of.
This should be in every serious music fan's collection.
There are only about four albums around of this style and magnitude, including two from Anastasia (this and 'Melourgia') and two from DD Synthesis (a self-titled album and 'Swinging Macedonia,' which IMHO is the best).
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic
This movie has left an indelible mark on me. I saw this movie in 1996 and am so happy to see it here on DVD. I own it on VHS and have told so many people about it over the years. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Marilyn McDermott
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best movies of all time!
I saw this movie in 1995 and never get tired of seeing it over and over again. Everyone I have shown it to loved it as well.
Published 13 months ago by Lori Kaye
5.0 out of 5 stars a masterpiece
A masterpiece of film making. Bold, lyrical, poetic, humane, intelligent. Well conceived and written. High production values in all departments.
Published 23 months ago by smith
5.0 out of 5 stars Wow
What a well done film with superb acting? This story stays with you long after you've seen it.
It is a film one must concentrate on to appreciate the beauty of the story and... Read more
Published on March 10, 2012 by The Purple Bee
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent !
This is one of the best ten films I have seen in my life. Truly excellent. If anyone has seen other films by this director, please let me know if they are as good as this one.
Published on September 1, 2011 by Juan G. Gelpi
5.0 out of 5 stars Before the Rain
One of the best movies I have ever seen. I had to purchase the cd for my collection. The sound track, the acting, the directing, the scenery, and especially the way the movie ties... Read more
Published on February 13, 2011 by beryl m
5.0 out of 5 stars Veautifully done in all aspects
Macedonia, as of five years ago was a province in southern Yugoslavia. Today it is a sovereign nation of Macedonia. Read more
Published on December 25, 2010 by Mutsco
5.0 out of 5 stars An essential film!
Finally on DVD, watching this film again fifteen years later I find it is just as powerful and relevant today, perhaps even more so. Read more
Published on August 26, 2009 by leah
5.0 out of 5 stars Finally on DVD
In my opinion, this is one of the best films ever made. I looked for years to purchase a copy on DVD and finally Criterion made the release - Thank You!
Published on December 12, 2008 by Der Großinquisitor
3.0 out of 5 stars A Wee bit Self-Conscious
I do think the construction of the movie undercuts its potential clout..given the themes of revenge assassination, blind hate, and terror. Read more
Published on November 27, 2008 by R. J MOSS
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