English | Български | Contact Us 
Festival 2005 Films Screenings Jury Awards News Comments Guests Gallery Organisers About Us
22.03, Вторник - 16:00, Cinema House
Director:  Hristo Hristov
Christo Christov - Retro
A Tree Without Roots
A Woman At Thirty-Three
The Barrier
The Icon Stand
The Last Summer

Последно Лято
Bulgaria, 1973, 86 min, color

Next to a flooded valley there is the white house of Ivan Efreitorov. His village is at the bottom of the reservoir. Its residents have been relocated to the town. Efreitorov is the only resident who has remained there with his father and his son, Dinko. When he dies his wife has made him promise not to leave the boy there with no education. The brother in law decided to take Dinko to live with him in the town and send him to school there. Efreitorov opposes him. Gradually the dog dies, then the calf, then the blue bird, and Dinko goes to the town with his youthful curiosity. Efreitorov cames back from looking for his son deep in thought. He sits down next to the lake and wipes away a tear and is convinced that this will be his last summer in this
deserted land.

Христо Христов
When Christo Christov enters the Bulgarian feature film cinema in the late 60-ies with his The Icon Stand (1969), what he already has behind his back is medical practice, scenography projects, opera productions, national awards for theatre directing as well as specialization with Mikhail Rom at the Mosfilm Studios. There is hardly another director in his generation to manifest himself in as varied spheres of art as Christo Christov. And there hardly is another colleague of his to have been so officially celebrated and so officially stigmatized by the totalitarian power. The film about proletarian leader Georgi Dimitrov Anvil or Hammer (1972) brings him a Golden Rose from the Varna Film Festival and the position of Chairman of the Union of the Bulgarian Filmmakers; and social drama A Woman at Thirty-Tree (1982), brings him a media discussion, public reproach by the professional community and deposition from chairmanship, all staged by the party censorship. His is a biography of a whole generation of Bulgarian cinematographers balancing
between art's high imperatives and the humiliating conditions dictated by the political situation. Christo Christov defends his artistic dignity by making a stand for cinematographic values. The Icon Stand, The Last Summer, 1973 (Best Foreign Director Award in Atlanta, USA, 1974 and the Special Jury Award at the Young European Cinema Festival in Toulon, France, 1975), and A Tree Without Roots, 1974 (First Award in Varna, 1974) set standards for artistry, and were realised despite and against the dogmas of social realism. These three films confirm Christo Christov's trade mark – the inherent metaphoric quality of his style – at the same time bringing up the personal identity problem for the first time in bulgarian cinema. Searching for such identity in man's connections with nature and tradition, director delves into deeper dimensions of human psyche and beyond the simplification and dogmatism imposed by the political situation. This is how he gets to The Cyclope, 1976 (Diploma at the Berlinale, 1977) – the first Bulgarian film focused entirely on man's inner world; and to his sublime achievement, The Barrier, 1979 (Silver medal from the International Film Festival in Moscow, 1979) – a tragic parable about the barriers separating us from spirituality and pure beauty. The colours become even more intense in his next film, The Truck (1980) where the problem of living a dull life lacking in spirituality acquires tangible social dimensions – the erosion of values in the times of setting totalitarism. Christo Christov's attempt to declare his own line of "moral anxiety" fails: A Woman at Thirty-Tree (1982) gives rise to repressions against him and is a convenient pretext to intimidate disobedient intellectuals. Next come his attempts within the limits of the censured: Interlocutor By Request (1984), Profile (1986) Test '88 (1989) as well as documentaries about art. The changes in the early 90ies inspire Christo Christov to continue working actively for the Bulgarian cinema – at the head of the Feature Film Commission with the National Film Centre (1995-1999), as the Chairman of the Social Council for Cinematography (1999) as well as a professor at the National Film and Theatre Academy. His feature "attempt at repentance" is Sulamit (1997). He also receives international acclaim for documentary films – "The Silver Knight" in Minsk '96 for Don't Give Up (Dum Spiro Spero) (1995): a film dedicated to artist Zlatyo Boyadjiev and singer Boris Hristov. One of the most awarded Bulgarian film directors abroad, Christo Christov is the first Bulgarian to be elect a member of the European Film Academy – an acknowledgement for his ambition to make Bulgarian cinema beyond the barriers of aesthetic provincialism.
Ingeborg Bratoeva
© 2001 - 2005 Production Company "Art Fest" Idea & Research - created by