photo credit: private archive
author: Iliyana Braykova
Everyone who has lived long enough in Berlin knows that there doesn’t pass a day of the week without some concert, performance, book preview or some other way to entertain ourselves. On January 18th I choose to go watch the film “Letters from Antarctica”.
Here are six reasons why:
1. To keep in touch with contemporary Bulgarian culture (slightly changed from the original blog post in Bulgarian).
You might not have heard many Bulgarian songs, read many Bulgarian books or watched many Bulgarian films. I would suggest that you utilize the internet and the cultural programme of Berlin and get yourself introduced to old-school rock bands like “Shturtsite” or a brand new film like “Letters from Antarctica”. In fact, to a degree we start evenly when it comes to contemporary Bulgarian culture. Ever so often, I find myself in a conversation with friends who live in Bulgaria and have no clue as to what they’re talking about. There are famous names I misinterpret as slang from ten years ago, and my taste feels more and more retro. So let’s go to FSK cinema together and watch a nice new European film - there will be subtitles for you English speakers too.
2. After the screening I can ask the film makers all the questions that pop into my mind.
Have you read the interviews on the Gibelin blog with director Stanislav Donchev and lead actress Irmena Chichikova yet? If you’ve missed them, by all means, go and read them. I found them both very sympathetic and intelligent. And the best thing is that they will be present at the screening of their film in Berlin and will be expecting the questions of the audience. I don’t know about you, but every time I come across a new story, dozens of questions pop into my mind and usually there is nobody who can answer them. Well, on the 18th there will be!
3. The weather is sure to be bad, but am I a bear to sit in my hole all winter round?
Let’s assume that all of us want to watch a film on Saturday, around lunch time. Now tell me, how many of you just love to crawl into their thickest blanket, turn on a film on one of the thousands streaming platforms online, have lunch without giving it the deserved attention and fall asleep right on the most important part? Quite attractive a prospect, no doubt. I do it frequently myself. But, dear reader, let us leave our bad habits behind in the last decade, I say. Personally, I intend to put on something snazzy for the eyes of them cultural folks (I might even consider putting on some make-up), I’m gonna go out into the cold, apparelled with my thickest jacket, I’m gonna cross the city and go to FSK cinema.
PS: I might go out rarely, but when I do, I write inspiring blog posts in which I make statements about the state of society.
4. The film is a reason in and of itself.
On a more serious note, I am going to see the film in order to cry a bit. (If you happen to sit next to me in the cinema, don’t worry, I just cry sometimes.) I am grateful that I have never been in the shoes of Irmena Chichikova’s heroine Diana, nor of her son, yet the story told in “Letters from Antarctica” hits close to my heart. Many times I’ve heard how it was the turnaround that broke the traditional bulgarian family. I’m not sure that exactly and only the turnaround is to blame, but it is a fact that for the last few generations a plot in which the dad seeks to be actively present in his child’s life is neither unheard of nor is it scandalous. I have a feeling that the film will address the conflicts in each character’s soul in a very honest and accessible fashion. Just from seeing the trailer I was both touched and appalled by the mother’s stubbornness to hide the bitter truth from her son.
So forget about the reasons that I’ve expressed so far, as well as about those that remain to be listed off - the film deserves attention in and of itself.
5. FSK cinema seems quite impressive.
Did you know that FSK stands for Flugzeug Sessel Kino??? Initially the seats in the cinema were old chairs from Lufthansa planes. Even though the seats have been replaced, the atmosphere remains artistic with a typical Berlin flavour. (Not that I’ve been there, thus says the internet.) The important part is that it is small and independent, and I think it’s nice to sometimes support such cinemas too. At the very least because they show respect and particular interest in the European, and the Bulgarian cinematography.
6. So that I can describe it.
This last reason might not be as universal as the others, but I simply cannot not share it with you: I have a professional reason to be there too. Right after the event is over I’ll get myself to work and write another blog post, so that Stanislav Donchev and Teodora Doncheva’s work could stay in the archives and reach at least one person who had chosen a different activity for January 18th, lunch time.
Those were my six reasons. I’m curious to read yours in the comment section below. See you at the cinema.