Contemporary asocial Bulgarian documentary film Cover Image
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Съвременното асоциално българско документално кино
Contemporary asocial Bulgarian documentary film

Author(s): Alexander Donev
Subject(s): Fine Arts / Performing Arts, Film / Cinema / Cinematography
Published by: Институт за изследване на изкуствата, Българска академия на науките

Summary/Abstract: The article deals with the situation in contemporary Bulgarian documentary film that has arisen in the late 2010s. The author identifies a trend towards isolation from social problematics and the strongest antagonisms of the present-day reality as the most burning issue of the here and now. Film critics bear the main responsibility for this mushrooming trend, as they show insufficient social sensitivity. Generally, an essential part of the explanation lies, socio-psychologically, in the ‘fatigue’ of the changes and the lack of results they have expected. This situation became especially apparent following the twentyforth edition of Golden Rhyton Festival of Bulgarian Documentary and Animated Film held in December 2019. It can be safely said that for the first time in the last five decades of the history of Bulgarian film, feature films showed harsher social criticism and adequacy in representing the actual processes in society than documentaries. The latter relapsed into a number of style and genre reversions to the aesthetic typical of the Socialist Realism (devoid of conflict, false heroisation, idealisation of the ‘glittering’ historical past, etc.). Reactivated were the long unused, but well-preserved reflexes of censorship and self-censorship. The conflicts in the perception of such documentaries as Uncle Tony, Three Fools and the Secret Service and Long Live Bulgaria are analysed. The selection procedures of Bulgarian National Film Center purposefully disregard such challengingly controversial screenplay submissions as Kalin and the Jail Team, I See Red People/Je Vois Rouge. The conclusion is categorical that contemporary Bulgarian documentary film is dominated by fear, playing it safe, reluctance to tread on delicate social and aesthetic ground

  • Issue Year: 2020
  • Issue No: 2
  • Page Range: 46-52
  • Page Count: 7
  • Language: English, Bulgarian