Oscars: Macedonia Selects 'Secret Ingredient' for Foreign-Language Category

Secret Ingredient Still 1 - Publicity - H 2017
Courtesy of Fragment Film

The film depicts a series of dramatic events triggered by a therapeutic cannabis cake.

Macedonia has submitted Gjorce Stavreski's Iscelitel (Secret Ingredient) for consideration in the foreign-language film Oscar category..

In the movie, which mixes drama and comedy, an underpaid train mechanic gives his father a cake made of stolen marijuana to relieve his cancer pain. However, he is soon cornered by criminals searching for their drugs and the nosy neighbors who want a recipe for the mysterious "healing" cake.

"Set in Macedonia, a small Balkan republic battered by political and economic turbulence for over a decade, Secret Ingredient could have been yet another addition to the canon of bleak social critiques from the former Eastern Bloc," The Hollywood Reporter's Stephen Dalton wrote in his review. "But Stavreski adds a few secret ingredients of his own, moving beyond the story’s local context into the more universal terrain of unresolved family tensions, the dangers of superstition and the healing power of love."

Secret Ingredient is Macedonia's 15th submission to the foreign-language film Oscar race since 1994. Its first submission, Milcho Manchevski's Before the Rain, is the only entry thus far to have earned an Academy Award nomination.