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What's in a game? For a young man, who has left his country behind, lost his memory and forgotten his love, the game might be the only way out. This is a story about a Bulgarian boy who grows up to be a German man. After a car accident Alex can't remember even what his name is. In an attempt to cure him from amnesia, his grandfather Bai Dan comes over to Germany and organizes a spiritual journey for his grandson back into his past, to the country where he came from. In changing places, time and transport, crossing half Europe, they play backgammon, the simplest, and yet the most complex of all games. That game leads Alex to the realizations of who he is, and that game is symbolic to the story. Destiny is the dice we hold in our own hands and life is a game on the edge between chance and skill. Written by
Georgi Djulgerov <email@example.com>
I went to the theater with low expectations of another boring post-totalitarian Bulgarian movie and was pleasantly surprised - it had an actual story which was told consistently, the characters were lively, there were no irritating protracted shots in silence (trademark to many, many other Bulgarian movies) and the dialogue was real. While based on a novel the movie elegantly manages to stay focused and the plot is not overstretched.
Things I didn't like: the one-sided densely evil picture of the totalitarian oppressors that rendered them preposterously inhuman, the clichéd camera (e.g. yellowish retrospectives, rotation around characters while they played backgammon) and superfluous didacticism in some scenes.
All in all it's worth watching, but eight years of script rewriting could yield a bit better result.
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