Before The Rain

With the support of the government of Macedonia and its Ministry of Culture, the film was indeed shot in all the locations Manchevski originally chose in his screenplay. Officially recognized as an independent state in the film's final week of shooting, Macedonia, ironically, remains the only republic in the former Yugoslavia where not a single bullet has been fired in the war that followed the collapse of Yugoslavia.

While Macedonia has historically been at the heart of the Balkan conflicts, many of the stunning locations used in the film were previously sites of bloody wars. Manchevski notes, "If you take out the machine guns, the leather jackets, the Nike shoes, and the Adidas shirts, this same clash could be taking place 200 years ago."

With the film's opening shots, it is immediately evident that location plays a key role. Much in the same way the characters help to tell the story, the stark beauty of the land anticipates and reflects the passions stirred within them. The combined talents of cinematographer Manuel Teran and production designers Sharon Lamkofsky and David Munns create a look for the film wholly faithful to the culture and tradition of Macedonia.

Many of the most striking locations in the film were in largely inaccessible, mountainous areas in this country of vast geographical differences. As a result, in some instances, the filmmakers had to build roads to reach them.

Because the film industry in Macedonia is very, very small, the filming of a motion picture was indeed an event. The local villagers, many of whom were employed as extras, greeted the filmmakers crew with great enthusiasm and curiosity. Local children would follow the multi-national, multi-lingual crew from location to location.