Godless | Bezbog

An almost totalitarian 4:3 format mercilessly reveals the limbo in which contemporary Bulgaria lies: its inability to escape a reactivated Soviet bloc, as well as to be reborn democratic and truly free. In Gana’s detachment, we see the ruthless emotional coldness of Godless’ black heroine, as depicted by Ralitza Petrova. She is the symbol of a social environment which is bleak and sentimentally desolate. The winner of the 2016 Locarno Golden Leopard is a poetic, ruthless and infernal vision; minimal and deep in the effects it produces. Gana is just one piece of an evil chain, herself a victim: her job as a carer for the old and frail is as tough as her two-faced personality; robbing their identity cards, which she then sells on to black market scammers. It is a mortal weakness, to feel emotions: Gana will later have to deal with her own misstep, touched by an encounter with music.

Cast & Crew

Cast: Irena Ivanova, Ivan Nalbantov, Ventzislav Konstantinov, Alexandr Triffonov, Dimitar Petkov
Producer: Rossitsa Valkanova
Writer: Ralitza Petrova
Cinematography: Krum Rodriguez b.a.c., Chayse Irvin c.s.c.
Production Designer: Vanina Geleva
Sound Designer: Peter Albrechtsen 
Editor: Donka Ivanova

Festivals & Awards
– Locarno Film Festival.Golden Leopard
– Toronto International Film Festival
– AFI Fest
– Sarajevo Film Festival. Special Jury Prize
– Golden Rose National Film Festival in Varna. Golden Rose Award
– Warsaw Film Festival. FIPRESCI Best Debut from Eastern Europe Award

Director Ralitza Petrova
Country Bulgaria, Denmark, France
Year 2016
Length 99 min
Language Bulgarian with English subtitles

Born in Bulgaria, Ralitza lives and works between England, Bulgaria, and France.

In early life, she studied Fine Art, and later Fiction Directing at the UK’s National Film and Television School. Her films have won acclaim at film festivals such as Cannes, Berlin, and Toronto, as well as on numerous art platforms, including the Centre Pompidou, Paris. She was previously awarded the Prix UIP, Best European Short Film at Berlinale, and nominated for an EFA. Her film By the Grace of God, which premiered at Cannes Film Festival, is currently on DVD at the British Film Institute and Tate Modern. Her debut Godless has been awarded production prizes at TorinoFilmLab’s FrameWork 2013, Sarajevo Film Festival’s CineLink 2015 and the “Women in Film Finishing Fund”, Los Angeles.