OF HOPE / AZBUKA NA NADEJDATA
DIRECTED BY: STEPHAN KOMANDAREV, 55 MIN
A stretch of secluded, mountainous countryside near the Bulgarian-Greek-Turkish
border, a few kilometres long and a few hundred metres wide. In the 1980s,
when the Bulgarian state tried to convert all Turks to Christianity –
demanding that they adopt Slavic names – most of its inhabitants
flew to Turkey. Many of the villages near this border were abandoned.
But some people stayed.
The film concentrates on a few families – Christian as well as Muslim
– and the uncertain future of their children. Since most schools
were closed, the children have to drive 140 kilometres to the only school
for the 16 villages of the region – at dawn, in a truck, in rain
or snow; on a street which we will see during the different seasons and
which will become another character in the film. At “St. St. Cyril
and Methodius School“, Bulgarian, Turkish and Roma children learn
side by side. Their mutual respect for each other’s faith, but also
a truck driver and the local doctor who introduces the film, give the
parents and their children hope to be able to live together in this remote
Caligari: 04-26 / 03.30 p.m.