August 22, 2003
Macedonian director Milcho Manchevski brings us this tale set in both modern times and just after the beginning of the 20th century. Manchevski does a good job jumping back and forth between the two time periods and keeps us interested.
The modern-day story takes place when a burglar named Edge (Adrian Lester) breaks into an apartment. Rather than getting away with the goods, he is overpowered by the elderly occupant, Angela (Rosemary Murphy). She sits down with the would-be robber and tells him a tale of romance in the Wild West.
The story she relates is about Luke (David Wenham) and Elijah (Joseph Fiennes), two brothers who fall in love with the same prostitute, Lilith (Anne Brochet). She ends up marrying Elijah and Luke sets off with his trusty weapon to make a name for himself in Europe. Elijah ends up becoming a gun-for-hire in the Balkans fighting against the Ottoman Empire.
As Angela tells her story, she keeps adding fictional details to make the story more interesting. When Edge finally leaves, he tells the story with even more panache and makes up an ending for the story's characters.
There were many reports of problems during the shooting of this film, including an outbreak of dysentery, crazy sheep, swarms of wasps, and extremely high temperatures. They finally got filming completed in the summer of 2000. This film had its world premiere way back in September 2001 and is finally getting a U.S. limited theatrical release. (Marty Doskins/BOP)