Housekeeping for Beginners (2023)

  • Year: 2023
  • Released: 11 Apr 2024
  • Country: North Macedonia, Sweden, Kosovo, Poland, Serbia, Croatia, United States, Australia
  • Adwords: 8 wins & 5 nominations
  • IMDb:
  • Rotten Tomatoes:
  • Metacritics:
  • Available in: 720p, 1080p,
  • Language: Macedonian, Romany, Albanian, French
  • MPA Rating: R
  • Genre: Comedy, Drama
  • Runtime: 107 min
  • Writer: Goran Stolevski
  • Director: Goran Stolevski
  • Cast: Samson Selim, Mia Mustafi, Dzada Selim
  • Keywords: lgbt, unconventional family,
93% – Critics
false% – Audience

Housekeeping for Beginners Storyline

Portrait of an unconventional family: the film tells the story of a vibrant yet complex multiethnic LGBT community living together in Dita’s large apartment. After Dita loses her partner to cancer, she finds herself entrusted with the care of their two daughters, with support from a fake husband and his young lover. The relationships among them prove to be stronger than any racial, social, gender, or generational conflict.—bettinardi-paolo

Housekeeping for Beginners Photos

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Housekeeping for Beginners Movie Reviews

A deftly crafted universal tale

Australians had better start claiming this gifted writer/director as one of their own quick-smart. This is Goran Stolevski’s 3rd feature release in as many years. He has a knack for authentic, energetic stories fleshed with deeply flawed, funny, evolving characters. He is also a wonderful storyteller. In lesser hands, this could be a well-worn tale of misfits and society’s marginalia finding a place to call home. But in Stolevski’s deft hands, we get carried into a universal tumble-dryer about everybody’s family and our need for a place where we can need and want and feel. The performances he manages to get out of his 5 year-old scene stealer and the cast of dozens of untrained actors is a masterclass for up-and-coming film-makers. Stolevski’s raw, intimate cinematography and energetic editing complete the showcase of instincts this talented film-maker is blessed with. I hope he starts to get the attention he deserves.

Interesting ongoing story of “my rainbow blended family”

Dita is a white woman with a gypsy lesbian lover Suada, and Suada’s daughters by different fathers – Vanessa in grade 9, and Mia aged 5. Also in the apartment is Dita’s white gay friend Toni, and his new boy-toy, the gypsy Ali. Both Suada and Ali hail from Shutka, the gypsy (Roma) municipality, and at times Ali manages to play fixer.

Aware that she may die of cancer, and having experienced racial discrimination in earlier life, Suada tries to get her girls to recognize Dita as mother and Toni as father, and even gets Toni’s name on their birth certificates. But when she dies, Mia bonds with Ali, while Vanessa rejects this family, wanting either to “go home” to grandma, or to marry a boy who is going abroad.

This film likely hits themes that are more relevant in North Macedonia than in Canada, but still is an interesting exposition of the life of minorities. There are dual themes of discrimination by ethnicity and sexuality. There is a brief scene where Dita “straightens out” her living room and Toni, expecting police to show up after Vanessa acts out. But the scenarios are believable, and the performances good, especially Mia, whose role was written well for her.

The dialog in Shutka is tricky, as there is Romany mixed in, and the subtitles don’t show the language differences, making me scramble to try to figure out what language was being spoken. Also, some of the hand-held camera work was a bit shaky.

Little gem that should find its public, hopefully

I didn’t know what to expect from this unknown director and cast (at least, to me), but I was pleasantly surprised by this bittersweet drama. Direction was very good, as well as the acting. The story is interesting and credible (I thought), and you really feel for ‘mamma Dita’ and her two ‘adopted’ kids.

The story goes as follows: Dita never wanted to become a mother, but is forced by circumstances to take care of her friend’s two daughters: the little troublemaker Mia and the rebellious teenager Vanesa. The three strong personalities clash, but against all odds they grow into a close-knit family that has to fight to stay together.

As someone put it, it’s ‘a messy look at class divisions in Macedonia’, and also at how the LGBT community copes with a not-so-tolerant environment.

A little gem that should definitely find its public.

At least, I hope so.