Kyustendil, the sleepy town, has been hit by covid, hard. In a close-knit community, patients meet former classmates in the same hospital room. Banter can often be heard through corridors, but death is never far. Many patients live in constant fear of deteriorating quickly and being sent „upstairs“ in the intensive care unit, where only a handful are known to have survived. Presiding over the perpetual stream of complicated cases is Dr. Popov. For some he has a witty line, for others a quote from Kant. Some of them misfire, but through the quiet dread in the hospital, he emits a mountain of human warmth.
Bulgaria-Germany, 2023, 110 min., Bulgarian with English subtitles
Script: Ilian Metev, Ivan Chertov, Zlatina Teneva
Directors: Ilian Metev, Ivan Chertov, Zlatina Teneva
Cinematography: Ivan Chertov
Production: Agitprop, Chaconna Films, Sutor Kolonko
Ilian Metev has directed the documentaries “Goleshovo”(2008) and “Sofia’s Last Ambulance”(2012) and the fiction film “3/4” (2017). His work has received over 45 awards, including from the festivals of Cannes, Locarno and Karlovy Vary. Since 2019, he is teaching at the UK National Film and Television School.
Ivan Chertov has been working as camera operator in various feature and documentary film productions for both local Bulgarian and foreign films. His first short film as a cinematographer “Auf Weidersehen” won the Best Live Action Short award at the 31-st Warsaw Film Festival in 2015. His debut feature “February” was in the official selection of Cannes Film Festival 2020. This is his full-length directorial debut.
Zlatina Teneva graduated with a BA Journalism from Sofia University, Bulgaria, in 2018. Since then, she has worked as a director, line producer and researcher on numerous film projects for ARTE and Deutsche Welle. In 2020, she was selected for the documentary workshop DOC Campus, organized by DOK Leipzig. This is her full-length directorial debut.