Synopsis by Mark Deming
To say Simeon Saxe-Coburg-Gotha had an unusual childhood is a gross understatement. Born in 1937, Saxe-Coburg-Gotha was the son of the Tsar of Bulgaria, and when his father died in 1943, the six year old was crowned as the new Tsar and became the nation's leader, a figurehead guided by a team of advisors. Becoming a monarch during World War II, Saxe-Coburg-Gotha was forced into an uneasy alliance with Nazi Germany, and in 1946, when Bulgaria's government was toppled in a coup engineered by the Soviet Union, the nine-year-old Tsar went into exile. Saxe-Coburg-Gotha became a successful businessman in Spain, but was still regarded as the nation's true ruler by a number of loyalists at home, and after the fall of Communism, Saxe-Coburg-Gotha returned to Bulgaria and was elected Prime Minister in 2001. However, his time as a conquering hero was short lived, as he failed to deal with severe economic problems and political strife, though a handful of Bulgarians continued to champion their former Tsar. Filmmaker Andrey Paounov chronicles the strange story of Simeon Saxe-Coburg-Gotha's transition from Tsar to exile to democratically elected leader to political liability in the documentary The Boy Who Was A King, which also offers a look into the lives of the former leader's most ardent supporters. The Boy Who Was A King received its North American premiere at the 2011 Toronto International Film Festival.
Bulgaria, businessperson, exile, monarch, Nazi, Prime-Minister, Soviet-Union, world-war