How to (not) raise a rag in Bulgaria

How to (not) raise a rag in Bulgaria
How to (not) raise a rag in Bulgaria

An unexpectedly good movie that is sure to touch the hearts of many moms and dads who are now raising teenagers

03 November 2023Friday, 8:00 p.m.


The official premiere of the film is on November 10, but viewers will be able to watch it exclusively in Burgas on November 5.

The story is like a textbook. A 16-year-old girl, systematically neglected by her parents, becomes a heavy burden to everyone who meets her. She is ill-mannered, aggressive, rude, a prostitute… as if taken out of the devil’s cauldron and thrown to poison lives.

She is the archetype of the country star from A to Z. We know her, she disgusted us, and we may have eaten some other slap from her at school.

However, has it ever occurred to you that this girl, in this case, is capable of stirring something good in your soul? To elevate you, to enrich your ideas about life?

And maybe sympathize with her?

It takes tremendous talent, empathy and tenderness to pull such a person out of the swamp of stereotypes and labels so that we can all see her as a person. And not only that – let’s see her as a person with dreams, germinated in conditions of poverty.

With her latest film “Dyada”, Yana Titova manages to lift the curtains and expose the innocent nature of those girls who, when they grow up, we whisper to each other that they are rags.

The focus of the film is 16-year-old Dida (Margarita Stoykova). A high school student who yearns to go to America with her mother and study painting. How badly he longs to leave his hometown, only the viewers know.

For his environment, Dida is far from the image of a young child with potential. She is a ticking time bomb for the weaker than her, a basket for killing complexes for the stronger. But most of all – she is a model of the Scottish environment in which she lives.

The poverty in Dida’s home isn’t the kind of capriciousness where a teenager considers herself materially disadvantaged because she doesn’t have the latest iPhone. With Dida, poverty is the kind where you feel brutally humiliated by your life.

Her father is a domestic alcoholic with a hobby of protecting himself in front of the media, and then he brags to his friends over a cup of tea that the national television broadcasts him more often than Boyko Borisov.

Dida’s mother is one of those parents who are here and there. He Skypes in every now and then to pour out a bucketful of promises to his receptive daughter, just enough to steer the conversation to the “nice things,” and then he disappears.

In the life of the main character, the school with its motley Kyriakstefchots, Humberthumberts and wannabe playmates is an essential unit. The hierarchy in it duplicates the food chain – the stronger devours the weaker.

So those who do not crush Dida mentally are crushed by herself.

“Diada” begins with a ray of hope that the heroine will rise above the material and moral garbage, but scene after scene the glimmer of a happy ending fades away.

Yana Titova approached history as an artist. He paints what he sees without leaving an iota of his personal ethical judgment or sense of justice. Dida’s existence is arranged before the eyes unadulterated, real, palpably real.

The director is a silent witness, a chronicler of events who documents without interjecting her opinion on them. It is as if Dyad is not a film, but a journalistic report broadcast live from the place of misery.

Titova did not give in to the temptation to equip her heroine in the familiar storylines, so that she would enter into the audience’s comfortable frames of the victim or the abuser.

Dida is amazingly good in both roles, making her a real, pulsating person, not a caricature of some far-fetched idea.

This is how every artist should use the plot.

Avoiding preaching morals and guiding your audience to the “right solutions”. We needed Bulgarian stories in their natural form, so that we could judge for ourselves what could have been done.

The little intertextual clues throughout the film are a great hook to grab onto in your search for an explanation. On Dida’s blouse, for example, it says Amore, which is a hidden reference to her most serious life deficit.

With methodical repetition, we also see how the camera moves along with the gaze of the heroine, fixing on individual fragments of her daily life. It is whispered to us that Dida is extremely observant.

That is, her desire to draw is not just some childish trick, but a real gift that is looking for a field of expression.

The jewel in the film is the young Margarita Stoykova, who enters with all her soul and heart into the image of Dida. He completely blurs the line between himself and the character, managing to arouse excitement and impulse to action in the audience.

An impulse that rarely spawns against characters emerging from the sewers.

At the beginning of the text I lied to you about one thing – there is a small glimmer of hope in “Diad”, not all is lost. In one of the scenes, the heroine writes the date on her drawing and it is 2011 – modern times.

Events do not unfold somewhere in the socialist past, which is a dead card and nothing can be done about it. The action is now, in this moment. If you want a happy ending, you have the freedom to write it.

Dyad is the sample in a test tube from the field, and the decision of what to do with it is left to us.

The premiere of “Diada” is on November 10. However, the preliminary premiere will be held in Burgas on November 5. It will take place at 4 p.m. in Cinema City, and special guests at the screening will be the actresses in the main roles – Margarita Stoykova and Petra Tsrnorechka, as well as Yana Titova herself – the main director and screenwriter of the film. They will meet the audience in person after the film and sign autographs.

Tags: raise rag Bulgaria


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