High in the mountains of Macedonia a team of young film makers are making a documentary about Katerina Vandeva - a descendant of an ancient and very famous family. Several former state and ...
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High in the mountains of Macedonia a team of young film makers are making a documentary about Katerina Vandeva - a descendant of an ancient and very famous family. Several former state and party functionaries interfere in the filmmaking in the hopes of manipulating Katerina's confessions for their own purposes. Nikola, the director, and his friends have to make the choice - whether to compromise with their consciences and their art, (as normally happens here in the Balkans), or whether to preserve Katerina's message.Written by
"Podgryavane na vcherashniya obed" is a noble attempt by a macedonian author to capture the turbulent times and the controversities the country has gone through in the last century as seen through the eyes of a woman who lived through them. Since very early age Katerina seems to have always fallen on the wrong side of her time, supporting her Bulgarian heritage during Serbian occupancy in the thirties, helping communist fugitives during WW2, coming at odds with the communist's methods shortly after the formation of Tito's Yugoslavia and finally after the break up, when a movie about her memories threatens to expose her tormentors. Cinematically, the movie is an example of the better part of new Bulgarian cinema, featuring mostly young, less well known actors, decent camera work, and most importantly something that is missing in just about 90% of all movies made today in Bulgaria - good sound and music. Unfortunately the good ends here. As the other reviewer mentioned, the movie falls victim to its own sense of purpose and importance. Rather than telling a simple story with proper plot, development and most importantly, morals, it contains an almost incessant portrayal of suffering and pain. Epochs, occupants and torturers change, yet the main characters continue to suffer without any hope for better life anywhere in the future. "I want to die", Katerina's husband says to the director, "Die and be buried, so that no one can do me harm anymore". Evil, as pictured in contemporary Bulgarian cinema is endless, eternal and can not be stopped. Yet, all the garbage and stink Bulgarian (and Macedonian) history is filled with just can't justify the continuing depression Bulgarian movie makers (and writers) seem to all have fallen to. Paralized by the past, the creative minds in this country seem to have abandoned all hope for the future and have seized looking for way to instill it in the viewers.
Attempts like "Podgryavane na vcherashniya obed" are great portrayals of the injustices people in this region have suffered. However, without giving us a way ahead, way to fight evil and conquer it, rather than simply endure it continuously, the movie makers ultimately condemn the audience to live and die suffering the same way their parents and grandparents did before them.
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