In Bulgarian


..........

A POINT OF VIEW ON THE CINEMA ART

FROM BETWEEN THE WORLDS OF POST COMMUNISM AND DEMOCRACY

 

by Iskra Dimitrova, PhD in Arts © 

 
BULGARIAN CINEMA

For those who know that to have a contact with numerous national cultures in the world is an endless adventure full of joy for mind and feelings, Bulgarian cinema can be such an "object of desire". Many may ask whether it exists at all. Or what kind of films could be made in that little country on the Balkans. The answer is: Bulgarian cinema started its existence at the beginning of the 20th century as a personal experience of making feature films and at the middle of the same century it already became an industry producing about 50 feature films for cinemas and TV per annum and several times more documentaries and cartoons. 

However, this cinema industry had to function in a communist society. It is hard to say that this was for nothing good. The ideology ruled the Bulgarian society totally and the paradox was that the communist leaders had an interest to develop the cinema industry as a form of manipulation of the people's minds. So a big contemporary production studio  was build in Sofia, with modern equipment for all the stages of making a film. A big number of films of all kind were produced annually. Many young people were educated in the art of cinema home and abroad. The Bulgarian films had a huge audience. Specialized film magazines were published with many reviews by professional film critics.

And all these acts aiming ideological purposes resulted in the creation of a community of filmmakers and film critics who were educated and the most important - who were granted the right to attend international film festivals and to communicate beyond the "wall" between the socialist countries and the rest of the world. And this community silently began to use thus gathered knowledge in its work. 

Thus a kind of a hidden opposition to the official ideology was born. If you see Bulgarian films made in the 60's, 70's and 80's, you can find that their inner content is far away of the ideological prescriptions. You can also see that this unusual struggle against the communist ideology led to the creation of a special film language which turned in time, as in all other communist countries, into a form of film culture based on a very inventive art analysis of the social reality.

And with its help the Bulgarian films of all kinds - features, documentaries and cartoons - began to function as an extraordinary substitute to all officially forbidden expressions of the social life such as free press, political and economic discussions, philosophical explanations of human beings and life.

I dare say that this film culture brought to life a very interesting kind of cinema art which showed that the filmmakers from Europe faced another and much different of Hollywood's path, going on which they can use the unexplored, deeply creative possibilities of the medium. For the Bulgarian filmmakers, however, exactly this experience turned now - in the post communist period, into a kind of drama. Because they refused to accept as the only possible the other view on cinema - mainly as entertainment - that is offered to all of the world and to our new free countries by the studios and the money of Hollywood... 

The forthcoming web pages, to develop in due time into a database, will be of use to you to understand more about this drama, to read reviews on old and new Bulgarian films or to look for Bulgarian filmmakers' profiles. 

July 1999


 

A POINT OF VIEW ON CINEMA ART FROM BETWEEN THE WORLDS

OF POST COMMUNISM  AND DEMOCRACY

 

DID OUR CINEMA BECOME AWARE

OF THE DRAMATIC LOST OF VALUES

DURING THE TRANSITIONAL PERIOD FOR BULGARIAN SOCIETY?

(KINO magazine)

 

"GORIANI"/ "mountaineers"

OR WHEN THE CREATIVE EGO wittingly FORGETS ITSELF

(KINO magazine)

In English, Bulgarian

 

WHEN PAIN transforms into cinema

THE SPIRITUAL SHOWS ITS face

(Culture newspaper)

In English, Deutsch, Bulgarian, Russian

 

"STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS" by malina petrova

(KINO magazine)

In English, Bulgarian

 

THE BOOK "CHRONOTOPE" BY VLADIMIR IGNATOVSKI

(KINO magazine)

 

lamentation from the executioner's stand

(KINO magazine)

 

A Talk with Prof. Ivailo Znepolsky

(Democratic Review magazine)

 

Bravo for "Emigrants"

(Culture newspaper)

 

7th International Sofia Film Fest - In English

 

Almodovar's Shamelessness in "Talk To Her"

Transmutes Into Aesthetic Beauty

(Democratic Review magazine)

 

"Journey To Jerusalem" in Yellow, Blue, Green

(Culture newspaper)

In English with little abridgments

 

Pre-modern, Modern, Post-modern with The Gaps Between  

(KINO magazine)

 

Spiritual Cognition in Document, Image, Sound:

"WITH EXTREME CruelTY"

(KINO magazine)

 

JULY STOYANOV

(Culture newspaper)

 

MICHAIL NEDELCHEV

(Democratic Review magazine)

 

THE POSSIBLE IMPOSSIBLE FREEDOM:

"THE PEOPLE v/s LARRY FLINT"

(FILM magazine)

 

TODOR ANDREIKOV - IN MEMORIAM

(Democratic Review magazine)

 

An art experiment that rediscovers the true nature

of the language of film, or, on the film “The Daughter”

("Die Tochter") by Bernhard Kammel

In English, Deutsch, Russian, Bulgarian

 

SOFIA KUZEVA - tCHERNEV

(http://www.sofiatchernev.com)

 

"MASS MIRACLE"

(LITERATUREN FRONT newspaper, 1981)

 

UNION  OF  BULGARIAN  FILM  MAKERS


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