You Won’t Be Alone brings fresh and intense genre storytelling to theaters this Friday after much fanfare at this years Sundance Film Festival. “We all lived in this world,” said star Anamaria Marinca, referring to director Goran Stolevski’s vision as “an unusual and beautiful film.” Having viewed the film at Sundance, I found it to be utterly engrossing and thought provoking with surprising emotional turns and a stunning work of poetic filmmaking. (Read the full review here)
In You Won’t Be Alone, a young witch in 19th century Macedonia assumes the bodies of multiple people over the years, living among villagers and learning about human nature before confronting the ancient evil spirit responsible for her turn. Marinca plays saiid ancient evil spirit, a witch with her own internal struggles that have resulted in her viciousness. To portray that character, Marinca was covered in makeup each and every day, which she referred to as “a second skin.” The actress explained how she would often forget she was in the get up, stating “good makeup is the one that makes you be completely free and make you forget that it is completely fake.” Interviewing Marinca and thinking back to her character in the film, one can appreciate just how incredible the transformation was. She went on to share that every character she portrays becomes a part of her and praised Stolevski for creating the metaphorical world in the film, which she described as a fairy tale. While waiting, Marinca would observe the young director and would “watch him watch us.” She shared that she had “never seen anyone more passionate and involved and loving towards his actors.” His commitment and love for his work was something that Marinca found “very touching,” explains “you want to honor that as an actor and… bring his world to life.”
Much of You Won’t Be Alone is mesmerizing due to both the cinematography and the characters. While the dialogue is often stirring, I found that the silent moments worked to propel the story just as much. When asked about this, Stolevski shared that the inclusion of dialogue in the script helps the characters in the moment, but that while editing he found much of it to not be necessary, leading to the removal. “I’m allergic to exposition,” he joked. He then was asked to respond to Marinca’s earlier praise and her observations regarding his process. He was flattered by the comments, but went on to explain that if he is going to ask an actor to get into a specific mental or emotional state, he gets into said state himself. What struck me was Stolevski’s admiration and appreciation for his cast, as well as his focus on taking the emotional journey with each of them. It all shines through in the finished project as You Won’t Be Alone is a deeper, richer genre film than one may expect. Each character bares all in their own unique way, an unexpected aspect of the film. As mentioned in my Sundance review, tories of witches have been told time and time again, but never with such precision and weight.
You Won’t Be Alone is a film not to be missed, hitting theaters this Friday.
Photo from IMDb