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Invisible (2005)

Unrated | | Documentary | 21 February 2005 (USA)
The story of six young people addicted to heroin in Sofia, Bulgaria.


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Alexsandar Bunovski ...
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After the crumbling of the Soviet empire, heroin flooded the streets of many cities behind the former Iron Curtain. It offered an alternative lifestyle largely unknown until then. In the late 1990s heroin addiction in Eastern Europe had reached epidemic proportions. Invisible takes place in Sofia, Bulgaria and follows a group of six young people on a three year journey through the highs and lows, dreams and tribulations of life with heroin addiction. The story bypasses the social problems and dynamics associated with addiction and focuses on the existential views and philosophy of the participants; it becomes a platform for their ideas and concepts of the world surrounding them. The participants represent a group of "social outcasts", who remain largely invisible in society. They are members of a generation eager to discover and explore the new "commodities". Invisible is unprecedented in the intimacy with which it portrays its subjects. It presents perspectives influenced by euphoria... Written by Director/Producer

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A film about the dreams and tribulations of life with heroin addiction









Release Date:

21 February 2005 (USA)  »

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$85,000 (estimated)

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User Reviews

A Powerful New Dimension in Documentaries: The Director is also Invisible
10 January 2007 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Konstantin Bojanov is a fearless, sensitive, respectful observer of the young people of Sofia, Bulgaria whose lives are focused on drugs. Three years in the making (2000 - 2003) this unique documentary was possible only because of the dedication of Bojanov who sought to depict from the addicts' vantage a problem that encircles the globe. Having used some drugs himself Bojanov approached six Bulgarian drug users as a friend and instead of exploiting their lives, he steps aside (or beside) and lets the six young people (ages 17 - 39) talk to the camera about their perceptions, delusions, reasons for using drugs, the highs and lows of drug use, the types of drugs they use and how they obtain them, and most important - their personal philosophies of how they view life and humanity and their place in it.

The characters (these are not actors) are addressed only by their first names: Diana, Kamen, Remi, Sasho, Stani and Vicki. They are filmed as they mix their heroin with citric acid ('lemon') to put it into solution as it heats, how they use syringes, sharing with their best friends, how they survive finding veins that will accept the dirty needles, and then the effects of the drug once in their blood stream. At this point they stare into space with the glazed look of the junkie and share their fears, their concerns, their need for heroin, their thoughts of suicide and the response of those who have tried it and succeeded or failed.

One aspect of the film is the discussion about prescription drugs widely used by these addicts in addition to heroin, drugs such as Parvikan (an anti-Parkinsonian drug not available in the US), and drugs that are primarily belladonna, barbiturates, and opiates. Over the three years of the shoot we get to know some of the users well, as they change physically, as they survive in the shadows of deserted buildings and under bridges, and how their friendships endure: they are the Invisible ones, the representation of an illness we would rather not address. All of this is filmed without the words of an interrogator: Bojanov simply allows us to overhear the tragic lives these people endure, without preaching, judging, or sensationalizing.

An added feature on the DVD is an extended 20-minute interview with the Director and it is from this interview that much of the film is explained in terms we can understand. Bojanov is an artistic humanitarian and he has created one of the more realistic and informative explorations of drug abuse ever filmed. It is a fine achievement. Grady Harp

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