What is my Documentary about?

The story in my documentary is the story of my family.

Very well placed in the communistic society, my family settled 1968 in Prague and experienced the Prague Spring. Father, mother, brother and me – all of us were influenced by the political changes, everyone in her and his own way. The distance between my generation and the generation of my parents rose. For the communistic regime in Bulgaria the new wind of Prague Spring never existed. An important episode of the European political history in the 20th- century was eradicated.

The suicide of my brother in December 1972 broke my heart. He was only 17 years old. His suicide was an act of frustration and disappointment. A profound sense of guilt tore my family apart. I started to paint to ease my pain. My father suffered from dementia. My mother turned silent for over 40 years. Now she speaks.

The Project

Mother and daughter go on a trip into the past to trace their family’s story and to meet their relatives for a dialog and forgiveness. The narrative line in the film is built through very personal conversations (oder discussions) between my mother and me. She opens her heart and her memories flow in a very emotional cataclysm.

I will put together my mother’s memories, family photographs and archive-material. My early sketches and drawings are strong elements of my visual language in the film. They reflect my unique viewing angle of the past, translating it into a pictorial biography of a half century.

My motivation to do this film

When I 2008 decided to make this film, I could not imagine how long and how difficult my journey would be. During the research in the last years, I made discoveries, which changed my point of view and  questioned the goals of home and family.

The shooting helped me to overcome the trauma of the death of my brother. I opened my heart for the relationship with my mother. The work over my documentary healed the fears of my mother and restored my love to my father. The shooting has helped us to overcome our guilty feelings.

There are films we want to make, but there are films we have to make.

Team

  • Script and director: Albena Mihaylova  
  • Producer development: Reinhard Manz, point de vue Basel
  • Executive Producer: Albena Mihaylova, Culturinstitut BinB
  • Co-producers: Svetoslav Draganov, Sofia
  • DP: Albena Mihaylova, Reinhard Manz, Veselin Hristov
  • Sound: Ivan Andreev  
  • Editing: Albena Mihaylova, Nina Altaparmakova
  • World sales: First Hand Films, Zurich

Why should you help me?

My documentary was supported by Department Multimedia und Audiovision BS/BL for development and production. The culture department, municipality Riehen BS and Landeskirche Zürich supported the film project, too. 

The production company point de vue Basel was involved in my project with valuable services. To my author’s and producer’s overheads below numerous hours of script writing and research in Bulgaria. 

I finalized the development of my documentary at the Ex Oriente Workshop in Prague (East European Platform for Documentary) and the project was awarded with a Golden Funnel Award for its visual language and stage of development.

Although the interest in my documentary is huge, it is very difficult to find financial support. The political situation in East Europe right now makes a co-production with Bulgaria complicated. Projects which deal with the reworking of the past meet resistance. 
Obviously the wind of change in East Europe still has not arrived/not come true.

Plenty of efforts were made to search film archives, to find missing documents and witnesses. I already shot most of the scenes in Bulgaria and in Basel. The production is app. 80% finished.

Your financial support goes to the postproduction:

  • Editing
  • Effects
  • Color correction
  • Archive and music rights
  • Sound mixing

Thank you so much for supporting me!