Numbed by addiction, Gana dispassionately nurses dementia sufferers in her bleak Bulgarian hometown. To feed a morphine addiction, and egged on by her callous boyfriend, she pilfers and sells the ID cards of her vulnerable charges. Eventually, however, they are observed, forcing Gana and her compatriots to take desperate measures; the consequences of which, and the unexpected bond Gana forms with an elderly patient, eventually encourage her to confront her corroded values. Unfortunately, it may already be too late to put things right.

Shot in one of the poorest regions of Bulgaria, Petrova makes excellent use of crusty, 70’s tower blocks and grimy cityscapes; presenting a world where sores left by communism are still festering 30 years after it evaporated. Irena Ivanova, as the heavy-lidded Gana, leads a cast of predominantly non-actors, giving a minimal yet masterful performance that afforded her Best Actress at Locarno.

Godless poster
Title
Godless
Director
Ralitza Petrova
Country
Bulgaria, Denmark, France
Length
99 min
Festival
2016
Section
Competition
Language
Bulgarian
Premiere status
Nordic Premiere
Production year
2016
Original title
Bezbog
Cast
Irena Inova, Ivan Nalbantov

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