3 user 13 critic

The Color of the Chameleon (2012)

Cvetat na hameleona (original title)
Batko becomes the spider in his own invisible web of informants by recruiting a group of intellectuals to spy on each other. He builds his own secret archive. After the fall of communism, he uses it to wreak havoc on the government.


Emil Christov (as Emil Hristow)
10 wins & 9 nominations. See more awards »


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Credited cast:
Lilia Abadjieva Lilia Abadjieva ... Pravda Cherneva
Kasiel Noah Asher Kasiel Noah Asher ... Radostina Polyanska (as Desa Krasova)
Mihail Bilalov Mihail Bilalov ... Aleko Polyanski
Rousy Chanev Rousy Chanev ... Mlyakov
Deyan Donkov Deyan Donkov ... Kokalov
Samuel Finzi ... Chamov
Hristo Garbov Hristo Garbov ... The Minister of Interior
Vassilena Getschkova Vassilena Getschkova ... Diana Manolova
Vasilena Getskova Vasilena Getskova ... Diana Manolova
Iordanka Ioveva Iordanka Ioveva ... Tribadzhakova
Lachezar Katzarski Lachezar Katzarski ... Somov
Irena Miliankova Irena Miliankova ... Girl
Mihail Mutafov Mihail Mutafov ... Etcher
Dimitar Ratchkov Dimitar Ratchkov ... Mochurov
Vladislav Todorov Vladislav Todorov ... Limo Driver


Batko becomes a secret-police informant. He performs his duties with great zeal, and yet he is unduly dismissed. His ego is badly hurt. His experience with clandestine work makes him realize a simple fact - the system of the political police is flawed by nature. Secrecy is both, its power and weakness. The system depends on the presumed authenticity of the agents and recruitment of informants based on fear. The operations of the secret police could be imitated by rogue individuals posing as agents. Batko creates a phantom secret-police department - a back door in the matrix of political control. He becomes the spider in his own web of informants by recruiting a group of intellectuals to spy on each other. He builds his own secret archive. After the fall of communism, Batko uses it to wreak havoc on the government. This is a dark political comedy. A self-styled secret agent engineers a fake political institution that replicates and mocks the omnipotent system of the secret police. A ... Written by Vladislav Todorov

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


A maniacal informant creates a phantom secret-police department.


Comedy | Drama | Thriller







Release Date:

5 April 2013 (Bulgaria) See more »

Also Known As:

Zincograph See more »

Filming Locations:



Box Office


EUR850,000 (estimated)

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Aspect Ratio:

16:9 HD
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Official submission of Bulgaria to the Oscars 2014 best foreign language film category. See more »


Featured in Balkan Spirit (2013) See more »

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User Reviews

Engaging thriller with brilliant cinematography
8 April 2013 | by ray-419See all my reviews

For English speaking viewers, I suggest you first do yourself a favor and watch Zift (by the same writer) which has English subtitles. Then if you find it cool, different, and compelling, you will also love this film. Shot beautifully in scope on color stock with some very original framing (pay close attention to the rooftop scene) and somehow processed to look like 80's color tones and grain.

Great care seems to have been taken in crafting every little aspect of this film, from the reel to reel tape recorders to the main character staring mesmerized into the open gate of his 16mm Bolex camera, you get drawn into a world that is halfway between a Graham Green novel and the inside of the main character's head which appears to have an almost Terry Gilliam quality. If you are a film lover you will definitely appreciate the references that other people will miss, but even if you are not the story will drag you in.

The main actor seems to be somewhat unknown but keep a lookout for him because after this I can predict he gets a lot more work.

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