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Bulgarian and Macedonian Film Series


August 7 at 7pm
August 10 at 9pm
Special Opening Night Reception with actress Jana Karainvanova.

Before the Rain

(color 114 minutes 1994)

Winner of the Golden Lion Award, 1994 Venice Film Festival, Nominated for an American Academy Award for Best Foreign Film, 1994. This film has a powerful circular narrative that joins three stories about the freedom of love and the pervasiveness of violence. "Words" finds young Macedonian monk Kiril (Colin) distracted from his spiritual duties by young Albanian Zamira (Mitevska), who takes refuge in his monastery. In "Faces," pregnant photo editor Anne (Cartlidge) is torn between her estranged husband and her lover, Aleksander, a London-based war photographer who left his native Macedonia years before. "Pictures" finds Aleksander returning to his old village--now torn by ethnic strife. This film's structure resembles PULP FICTION, which debuted almost simutaneously. The New York Times' Janet Maslin called it "One of the Best and Most Impassioned Films at this year's Sundance Film Festival." World Policy Journal ranked it in their top ten films of all time that deal with ethnic strife. In Macedonian, Albanian and English with subtitles. Director Milcho Manchevski with Katrin Cartlidge, Rade Serbedzija, Gregoire Colin and Labina Mitevska.

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August 7 at 9:15pm

Khan Asparuch

Director: Lyudmil StaikovThe
(color 90 minutes 1981)

A national epic screen presentation produced for the 1300th anniversary of the founding of the Bulgarian state, the oldest in Europe. This film has a three part structure. Phantagoria is set on the steppes of northern Russia, the land of Great Bulgaria, from where these Bulgar people set out under Khan Asparuch in search of a new home. Migration is a story of the trek westward to the Danube River over the years and the encounter and partnership with the Slavs in the area. Land Forever features the decisive battle with the Byzantine emperor Constantine IV Pogonatus. Shot in Eastmancolor, the epic took over a year to make, features a cast of thousands and compares extremely well with Western spectaculars. The battle scenes are amazing.

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August 10 at 7pm

Goat Horn

Director Metodi Andonov*
(B&W 1972 96 minutes)
with Anton Gorchev, Katya Paskaleva, Kliment Denchev, Todor Kolev, Milen Penev

Winner of the Silver Hugo, Chicago 1973. One of the most beloved and controversial films in Bulgaria, it is also the biggest box-office hit in the history of Bulgarian cinema. The popularity abroad of this film might be best understood in the light of history: during the seventeeth century, the Ottoman Turks made life quite miserable for Bulgarians. This film captures the effects of Turkish persecution upon a Bulgarian family living in the mountains. It is a story of love, lust, revenge and madness set in the style of ancient tragedy.

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August 8 at 7pm
Winner of the "FIPRESCI" award, Thessalonika Film Festival, Greece 1996.

Emile's Friends

Director Ludmil Todorov
(color 1996 90 minutes)

This is a charming story of a group of five friends all linked by an amazing women named Emilie. One friend can't love when it is available, another recklessly loves too much, and another can't find any love. The strength, and magic of Emilie is the cement linking them and throughout, there is mirth, laughter, tears and a movie stealing party scene. This film is an exploration and showcase of the power of love and friendship.


August 8 at 9pm

Canary Season

Director Evgeni Mihailov
(color 1993 120 minutes)

A gritty, dark and poignant tale of a young man's search for paternity and identity. The narrative includes striking flashbacks of the man's mother Lily living under the harsh, treacherous rule of communism and it's effects on freedoms of Bulgarian families. This is a hard, imagistic and tensely paced story of the current "lost generation" of Bulgaria, the search for their roots under the communists and their search for meaning without them.

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August 8 at 4pm

The Patience of the Stone

Director K. Bonev
(color 1998 50 minutes)

This film won the Best Documentary of the Year in Germany, 1998. It is a documentary about the lives of the inhabitants of a small village in the Rhodope Mountains that separate Bulgaria and Greece. Seemingly a simple view, this film explores the effects (or lack of) of modernism and proves the age old adage that the more that things change the more they stay the same. Overall, a very modern, stylish, and engaging look at an older world.

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Harvard Film Archive • Carpenter Center • 24 Quincy Street • Cambridge MA 02138 • 617-495-4700