Big World Pictures • 2h 35m
Directed by Maya Vitkova • Drama • 2016 • 155 minutes
Maya Vitkova’s stunning debut feature Viktoria, which had its World Premiere at the Sundance Film Festival last year, follows three generations of women in the final years of the People’s Republic of Bulgaria and the early years of the transition to democracy. The film focuses on reluctant mother Boryana and her daughter, Viktoria, who in one of the film’s surreal, magical touches is born without an umbilical cord. Though unwanted by her mother, Viktoria is named the country’s Baby of the Decade, and is showered with gifts and attention until the disintegration of the East Bloc. Despite throwing their worlds off balance, the resulting political changes also allow for the possibility of reconciliation. Vitkova wrote, produced and directed Viktoria, making it both personal and universal, and demonstrating a precocious command of all elements of the filmmaking process. Especially impressive is the film’s visual sensibility and its command of a range of shifting tones, from absurdist humor to political allegory to deeply moving familial drama.
"The film coheres and builds momentum, its striking images in the service of a poetic narrative." —Boston Globe