Synopsis by Mark Deming
A search for both family and cultural identity takes place on a tandem bicycle in this emotional drama from Bulgarian filmmaker Stefan Komandarev. Alexander was born in 1975, when Bulgaria was being ruled by an oppressive political regime that encouraged distrust among its people. Alexander (Carlo Ljubek) was raised in an extended family, with his parents Vasko (Hristo Mutafchiev) and Yana (Ana Papadopulu) sharing their home with Yana's folks Bai Dan (Miki Manojlovic) and Sladka (Lyudmila Cheshmedzhieva). Free-spirited Bai Dan shows little respect for Bulgaria's leadership, and Vasko is approached by authorities who want him to file intelligence reports on his father-in-law. Afraid of where this could lead, Vasko brings together the family and flees the country, making their way to Germany after a stay in a refugee camp. When Alexander, now in his early thirties, is involved in an auto accident with his parents in the car, he survives but they perish. Alexander's memory of his past has been shattered by his injuries, so Bai Dan proposes a journey to lift his spirits and refresh his mind. Bai Dan gets a two-seater bicycle and together they set out to travel from Germany to Bulgaria strictly by pedal power. Adapted from a novel by Ilija Trojanov, Svetat e golyam i spasenie debne otvsyakde (aka The World Is Big and Salvation Lurks Around the Corner) was voted best Bulgarian feature presentation at the 2008 Sofia Film Festival.
bicycle, Bulgaria, father-in-law, oppression