Hollywood’s repeatable storylines and empty blockbusters may be dominating the world’s movie theatres, but believe it or not, quality films have been shot and are being made elsewhere too.
Bulgarian cinema had its golden age in the 70s and 80s, when the state-funded film industry was tasked with providing entertainment for the masses – and did an impressively good job at it! And though Bulgaria is producing less films these days than in the past, quite a few successful and captivating Bulgarian movies have been released in recent years as well.
What is unique about Bulgarian films are the fresh and clever stories, the unforgettable characters and the atmospheric settings which give the movies a look and feel decidedly different from Hollywood’s style that relies on CGI and other visual effects.
From the tale of a plum-eating dolphin to the drama caused by a music teacher who sings terribly, kashkaval tourist presents 10 classic Bulgarian films you must watch.
1. “Gotta sleep for 10 more minutes and then I’m coming”: With Children at the Seaside (1972)
With Children at the Seaside (С деца на море, S detsa na more) is a charming collection of two storylines united by their setting at the Bulgarian seaside and the mischievous but honest character of Pipsi.
The first part revolves around a summer love story in Nesebar, a historic Bulgarian seaside town, and a group of kids who keep following the young lovers, hoping to catch a glimpse of the legendary plum-eating dolphin that they reportedly sail off to meet every day.
The second part involves Georgi Partsalev’s memorable character Uncle Mancho who goes to the seaside with his mistress, but is immediately caught on camera by Pipsi. Seeking to destroy the evidence of his affair, Mancho is forced to somehow take the camera away from the children.
2. “Why is this dog green? It’s a little crocodile”: Dangerous Charm (1984)
In Dangerous Charm (Опасен чар, Opasen char), famous Bulgarian actor Todor Kolev plays a conman who seduces single women with his charm and intellect, robs them of their money and spends it all on mindless entertainment.
The police are following the conman in his trails, though his ingenious decisions and clever use of fake names (as well as completely made up Frank Lloyd Wright quotes!) pushes his plan forward… Until the conman himself finds love, or does he?