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>
Official submission of Bulgaria for the 'Best Foreign Language Film' category of the 82nd Academy Awards in 2010. See more »
It's very unlikely that both cables to brake the bike would break away at once. See more »
I'm your Grandpa, from Bulgaria. Don't you recognize me? Are you all right? Tell me you are!
Alexander 'Sashko' Georgiev:
I don't know if... Please, I... I don't know you...
Sashe, Sashe... Have a good look. It's me, your Grandpa! I came from home. Remember? I taught you to play backgammon. You remember the song? Backgammon's played by those who can / Backgammon's played by those who can't, too.
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A young man who has lost his memories and parents in a car accident is guided by his charismatic grandfather to regain his memories by travelling around Europe, retracing the path the young man and his parents once took when they had illegally migrated from Bulgaria to Germany for a new life. This is the premise of this movie.
This movie was the Bulgaria's official entry into Academy Awards 2009 and it was also shown in many film festivals winning many awards.
I simply loved this movie. With a wonderful and simple story this movie captivates the viewer with the brilliant acting by Miki Mnojlovic and his inducing dialogues. Stephen Komandarev is a wonderful director who knows how to visualize a story. But the story rises above all these and makes the movie a definite must watch.
The movie tells the story of the journey of Bai Dan and his Grandson Alex in search of the real self of the latter. In a parallel story line we witness the plight of the young Alex and his parents for a new life from Bulgaria to Germany. Both the stories go well simultaneously and do not make the viewer bored. This is because of an intelligent and well written screenplay.
I really liked the characterization of Bai Dan, an experienced man whose life is all about the game Backgammon and even his dialogues relate around the game. He once says to his grandson "life is like the dice in our hand, fate is determined by the skill and luck of the player." He has a simple solution to all problems. He never pushes Alex to revoke his old self but with his own innovative techniques he tries to get back his old Alex. He realizes that sitting idly in the hospital can never make Alex any better and he takes him on a cross country trip across Europe and playing Backgammon occasionally.
But this is more than a tale of two people on the road to self-realism. The movie explores into the political situation of Bulgaria during the 1980s. Alex' father, Vasko, gets into trouble with a local communist who wants him to spy on Bai Dan, his father-in-law. He refuses and worrying about the consequences he decides to leave Bulgaria and flee to Germany with his wife and son. We get to see the troubles that they face during their migration and the problems they and the other immigrants from different countries face in the refugee camp.
Backgammon had been given much importance throughout the movie. The movie starts with backgammon and ends with backgammon. Bai Dan's life revolves around backgammon. In Vasko's life also backgammon plays an important part. The game plays also an important role in bringing Alex back into his original life.
The movie talks about the hopes of a small family and their dreams of having a better life somewhere. It tells the forgotten memories, dreams and life of a young man who learns more things when he regains his memories. It tells about a grandfather with full of love for his grandson. It tells how a small game like backgammon can stir the life of people.
I strongly recommend this movie to everyone for the brilliant acting of Mr. Manojlovic, an interesting story, good direction. At the end, everyone wishes for a grandfather like Bai Dan and that's the success of this movie.
~ dillitalkies.blogspot.com ~
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