Monday, June 5, 2017

‘Directions’ Movie Review -Bulgarian Cinema

‘Directions’ Review | Hollywood Reporter: "Bulgarian director Stephan Komandarev ('The Judgment') deploys a series of taxi rides to create a mosaic portrait of life in Sofia today.
Bulgarian writer-director Stephan Komandarev’s best-known previous films — such as the widely travelled 2008 intergenerational Oscar-submission The World Is Big and Salvation Lurks Around the Corner and 2014’s border-set drama The Judgment — have put the issues of immigration and emigration right at the heart of their stories. With his latest Directions, which screened in Cannes’ Un Certain Regard section, that theme is once again present, but Komandarev this time focuses more closely on the tortured soul of Bulgarians who haven’t left their native land, or at least not yet. A criss-crossing narrative that hops from taxi to taxi over the course of roughly a day and night, this plays more like a series of shorts of variable quality rather than a coherent whole. Still, Komandarev’s empathy for people struggling to survive as best they can is palpable and admirable. The film could have appeal on the festival circuit like the director’s earlier work, even though viewers will come away with a very vivid, specific portrait of contemporary Sofia in all its seedy splendor.


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