Letaloto (1981)

Run Time - 90 min.  |   Countries - Bulgaria  |  
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The setting is a small and Christian Bulgarian village in the Rhodope Mountains during the Balkan Wars of 1912-1913. Sirachko (Christo Gurbov), a young country "bumpkin," has just been inspired to build an airplane to help Bulgaria win the war against Muslim Turkey. He watched in open-mouthed wonder when he first saw one of the flying machines pass overhead while he was out in the fields, and now nothing can deter him from his mission of aerial conquest. Before long he finds an unlikely ally in the person of a young Turk from another town who drops his Muslim beliefs in order to devotedly follow Sirachko -- and not be attacked by the Christian villagers. With the banner of victory over Turkey held high, they finally build a contraption of sorts and are challenged when marauders dressed as Turks, undoubtedly bandits from a nearby Muslim village, come charging through. Sirachko jumps in his wonderful plane to take a flying leap into the wild blue over the heads of the invaders and is abruptly faced with a rapid drop in altitude from a few feet to no feet at all. Added to the ignominy of failure is the brutal rape of his girlfriend as he is bound hand and foot and cannot help her. Her revenge is taken against the marvellous non-flying machine, soon to be a pile of ash, making it very difficult to explain to the Bulgarian soldiers that arrive exactly what the charred remains were meant to accomplish. War does not seem to be the best time to test his ideals against military reality, as Sirachko is quickly discovering.

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Keywords

airplane, girlfriend, rape, revenge, war, war-atrocities