7.3/10
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Iztochni piesi (2009)

Through Georgi (a juvenile) and Itso (an adult), we take a quick glance (about one and a half hour quick) at what happens in post cold-war Bulgaria.

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13 wins & 7 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Christo Christov ...
Itso aka Christo
Ovanes Torosian ...
Georgi
...
Isil (as Saadet Isil Aksoy)
Nikolina Iancheva ...
Niki
Ivan Nalbantov ...
Itso and Georgi's Father
Krasimira Demirova ...
...
Isil's Mother
Kerem Atabeyoglu ...
Isil's Father
Alexander Radanov ...
Drega (as Alexander 'The Indian' Radanov)
...
Angela
Kaloyan Lenkov ...
Bodyguard
Velislav Pavlov ...
Koyno
Ivan Penchev ...
Old Man
Ivan Vitkov ...
Psychotherapist (as Dr. Ivan Vitkov)
Yosif Shamli ...
Mayer
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Storyline

Georgi (Ovanes Torosian) is a typical schoolboy in search of some identity and--being lack of guide, ends up hanging out with the wrong people. Itso (Christo Christov) was a drug addict now undergoing a therapy who finds himself sinking in beers. Through them, we see post cold-war Bulgaria--its freedom, as well as its confusion. Written by bojleng_utomo@yahoo.com

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

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Details

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Release Date:

16 October 2009 (Bulgaria)  »

Also Known As:

Anatolikes istories  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

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Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Official submission of Bulgaria for the 'Best Foreign Language Film' category of the 83rd Academy Awards in 2011. See more »

Goofs

In the restaurant scene where Itso and his girlfriend order, Itso orders a Swedish beer but we see him drinking Shumensko, which in fact is a Bulgarian beer. See more »

Quotes

Fish: You know why there are no Arabs in Star Trek?
Georgi: Why?
Fish: Because it's in the future. Get it?
See more »

Connections

References Star Trek (1966) See more »

Soundtracks

Concerto BWV 974
Composed by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performed by Glenn Gould
Glenn Gould Edition
See more »

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User Reviews

 
A great work of art
12 March 2010 | by (France) – See all my reviews

It has been quite some time since a film genuinely moved me. This past week or so, I have sat through and enjoyed, to varying degrees, Scorsese's Shutter Island and Polanski's The Ghost Writer. Both were polished, well-made, clever films (the latter perhaps slightly more than the former), but I will soon forget them. I don't think I'm going to forget Eastern Plays anytime soon. This Bulgarian film by Kamen Kalev is, well - why beat around the bush ? - a great work of art. Superbly shot in a Sofia filled with graffiti-covered buildings and vacant lots, Eastern Plays tells the story of Itso, an addict on methadone who has to drink beer more or less constantly to dull his pain. Quite by chance, he intervenes when a family of Turkish tourists gets attacked and beaten by a gang of Neo-Fascist thugs (led by a terrifying Alexander "The Indian" Radanov). This gradually leads to a relationship between Itso and the breathtakingly beautiful Isil (Saadet Isil Askoy), whose innocent, optimistic spirituality gradually begins to lift Itso out of the painful doldrums of his beery existence. I don't know what to praise most about this film : its portrayal of a modern Bulgaria adrift between racist youth gangs and football hooligans, the parents completely out of touch with the world of their children ; the incredibly true-to-life performance by Christo Christov, who died of an overdose before the film was finished shooting ? I think finally it is the luminous presence of Saadet Isil Askoy, who brings a sincerity and optimism to the film's grim context, as she tells Itso that we are all living in a time where people are sick inside, but that she feels a change is coming. This is not just a film about contemporary Bulgaria, although it is that as well. It is a film that captures a certain Zeitgeist of the early 21st century, in which, especially in post-Communist Eastern Europe, a restless youth with nothing more to believe in attempts to fill the gap inside them as best they can : with drugs, alcohol, headbanger rock, neo-fascist thuggery, or, in a few precious, fragile cases, with art and music. I have not recently seen a more deeply moving scene in a film than the one is which a desperate Itso consults his psychiatrist : all he wants to do, he says, is find the goodness within himself. He wishes he could radiate light like a crystal, and love all human beings, but he does not know how.


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