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KARLOVY VARY 2009 Bulgaria

Bulgarian Crayfish served in Karlovy Vary


Bulgarian veteran director Ivan Cherkelov presented his latest film, Crayfish, in the East of the West section of the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival, currently underway in the Czech spa town.

Unlike some of Cherkelov’s more cerebral previous efforts (Thundering Stones, Christmas Tree Upside Down), his latest feature is a relatively straightforward story set in a post-Communist Bulgaria, where former big shots have started applying their Party-era logic, savvy and connections to big business, making deal-making a cut-throat business in Bulgaria.

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Two working-class friends (Philip Avramov, Valeri Yordanov) without fixed jobs both take on an assignment in a town far from Sofia, where they live, to earn some quick money. They do not know that they have both been hired, through different intermediaries, by two rivalling corporate bosses who will do anything to get rid of the competition, meaning they will find each other on opposite sides.

Easily keeping his different narrative strands in the air (the lines of the various characters cross and diverge several times), Cherkelov, who also wrote the screenplay, inserts a beautiful, minutes-long monologue about halfway through the film that shows that the characters are above all human, and do not deserve to have their feelings trampled upon.

The film was produced by Rossitsa Valkanova for Klas Film, co-produced by The Chuchkov and received backing from the Bulgarian National Film Centre.

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