The 2014 Seattle International Film Festival hosted Bulgaria and Romania with their award-winning dramedy (Breaking Waves Award - Titanic Film Festival 2014). To me, it was a glacially paced endurance test. Even though the casting is amazing, the acting is brilliant and the photography wonderful, in my opinion director Maya Vitkova should have cut this 155-minute ordeal in half!

For example, when the actress drinks some milk, she picks up the glass and slowly drinks the entire glass of milk, then she sets down the empty glass and picks up her husband's and drinks the remainder of milk from his glass, as well...in a single SEVEN-MINUTE take. If someone starts down a hall, we have to see him or her walk the entire distance, open the door and walk through. Nothing is alluded to, we have to watch each action in its entirety. Yawn.

There is very little dialogue. The long silences are punctuated by an actor exiting the room, or the actress taking off her clothes...again... We are treated to scenes with breast milk, menstrual fluid, glasses of milk, a pelvic exam, a milky rain, and a woman giving herself a douche. (I think those are the artistic parts.)

We see:
  • Urmena Chichikova as Boryana, the young Bulgarian woman determined never to get pregnant. When it happens, she seems to suffer from prenatal and post-natal depression that NEVER GOES AWAY. Her baby is born at the same time as a little crippled boy, but hers is born with no umbilical cord, so it becomes Communist Bulgaria's "Socialist Baby of the Decade." She won't even nurse it.
  • Dimo Dimov is Ivan, the upbeat husband and father-to-be. He takes over all of the parenting when it becomes obvious that his wife has absolutely NO maternal instinct.
  • Daria Vitkova is Viktoria as a young schoolgirl, is spoiled and coddled by the Bulgarian President. They speak by phone regularly and he sends a chauffeured car to take her to and from school. She is an over-indulged brat, so with the political collapse in 1989 and the president jailed, she has a rude awakening.
  • Kalina Vitkova is Viktoria as a young woman, almost as non- communicative as her mother. At least Grandma is still alive, so there is a bit of warmth in her life...for awhile...
I found this irksome and trying. It could have been so incredibly worthwhile if only it had been a little less artistic. Aarghhh!