Synopsis by Eleanor Mannikka
The Queen of Turnovo is set in medieval times, in the appropriately medieval city of Turnovo, and is drawn from a novella by Emilian Stanev called "Diary with a Continuation." As this quasi-historical drama unfolds, the handsome and well-born Doctor Stariradev (Stefan Danailov), somewhat of a scoundrel and ladies' man, has just returned to Turnovo from his medical training - and his carousing - in Paris. His rounds include checking out the health of the inhabitants of the local bordello, from whence he continues on to his peasant clientele, whom he alienates without trying very hard. His young and truly beautiful maid Marina Camelia Todorova is attracted to him (she is in the throes of deciding on a divorce and may have been a little vulnerable to the doctor's charms). Surprisingly enough, the otherwise profligate doctor returns her affections and they are happy for awhile. His low character carries the day, however, when he decides to marry another woman since a maid would never be acceptable to a society with rigid standards for someone of his family background and standing. Although the choice may have been noble in some sense, his wife contracts tuberculosis and starts to slowly waste away, and then the doctor is shot and wounded by the maid's husband, who has found out about their relationship. The doctor mourns his wife's sickness which he cannot cure, he must forever walk with a cane due to his gunshot injury, and Marina, the maid whom he loved has had to go to work in the bordello to survive. Meanwhile, Marina has lost her husband, the doctor she loved, and what little respect society accorded her - she had been called the "Queen of Turnovo" because of her stunning beauty. The mutual suffering of Marina and Doctor Stariradev takes on nearly allegorical proportions as the story slowly wends its way to the last scene.
Casanova, class-clash, divorce, doctor/nurse, love, love-triangle, maid, scoundrel