After 25 years in France, I return to Bulgaria when a vertiginous suspicion arises: what if my family had collaborated with the secret police of the totalitarian regime?

Director:

Bojina Panayotova
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Cast

Cast overview:
Bojina Panayotova Bojina Panayotova ... Self
Milena Mikhaïlova Makarius Milena Mikhaïlova Makarius ... Self (as Milena Mikhaïolova Makarius)
Nicolaï Panayotov Nicolaï Panayotov ... Self
Kamen Draganov Kamen Draganov ... Self
Xavier Sirven Xavier Sirven ... Self
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Storyline

When the Iron Curtain fell in 1989, Bojina was eight years old. A short time after, her father, an artist, moved with her from Bulgaria to live in Paris. Twenty years later, this young woman returns to Sofia. She senses that there is something unspoken in her family's past.

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Documentary

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A young woman's ego trip
22 October 2018 | by tityronSee all my reviews

I watch a lot of documentaries. I love them. Among those I really enjoy personal experiences, personal quests, which, though specific, allow one to better understand the world of others, one step after another. It makes us more understanding, tolerant, compassionate. This documentary is such a personal quest, I should have liked it but I did not.

First I think, as the title of this review suggests, that this film is before anything else an ego-trip project. In personal-quest documentaries, one usually asks a lot of questions to others, one goes into the world to find meaning. The filmmaker here appears in almost all the shots, and you can clearly see that she is acting (although unconsciously, I'm sure) to appear at her best. She's acting curious, thrilled, happy, serious, moved, and so on. Not to mention the omnipresent "ain't I cute?" feeling. A documentary director should focus on the topic of the film, not on herself/himself. Except for a few characters, in particular her father and the driving teacher, all individuals are too aware of the camera to have any journalistic significance. Her mother is particularly helpless in the movie, especially when she argues for five minutes that she may not be in the movie at all because it's too private, yet you can clearly see that it's her own ego trip too and she dies to be in it, be it with a little drama at the end. The only person who could have been really helpful and meaningful, her father, quickly stepped out of the movie as he understood that his daughter did not have the right approach. I disagree with his idea that these things should be forgotten (though I'd say the same thing if I were him), but he's certainly right when he says that his daughter is not doing anything worthwhile, that she's merely jumping up and down.

Second, there is absolutely no depth in the analysis on the chosen topic. We chronologically go through random events with little historic substance. We all know that citizens were under surveillance in former communist countries. Did we learn anything more here? Nope. All we get are vague impressions about vague documents, as if learning that you were under surveillance is worth one hour and half of an audience.

The underlying problem is that the filmmaker is too young and too much of a dilettante to make a movie on such a difficult topic. She admits herself that she's 30 and she had never asked herself "that" question. What I learned once more in this movie is that one should not do something they don't understand, especially when people who understand better tell you not to do it. This young woman comes out as a stubborn brat who shoots herself in the foot and is proud to show it to the world. If you are of a millennial and find self-centered watch-me-brush-my-teeth youtube videos informative, you might enjoy this movie. Personally I found it disturbing by its vacuity and I would be surprised if this young woman won't be ashamed of it in a few years. I am sure she's a smart lady who just didn't realize what she was doing at that time in her life.

An elephant giving birth to a mouse.

I am sorry I am so harsh but I find it very distressing that this kind of film could become the new norm. I have seen a few of them already.


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Details

Country:

France

Language:

Bulgarian | French

Release Date:

24 April 2019 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

I See Red People See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Stank, Andolfi See more »
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Technical Specs

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Color:

Color
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