Friday, July 24, 2009


If you have seen as many Bulgarian films as I have you'll understand my trepidation at taking a couple of hours out of my life and $12 out of my wallet to see Zift.

Zift turns out to be a black and white morality tale. Our hero is coming to the end of his sentence for a murder he says he didn't commit. The back story gradually unfolds as it becomes important to understanding the details of his release and the unusual welcoming committee, or as our hero decides to let us in to his confidence. The story jumps back and forth between his youth in the 1940s and the present (1960s) and is populated by larger-than-life characters: a one-eyed philosophising cell mate, a beautiful seductive school girl who can make him cum by whispering in his ear, a mysterious army officer in a black car, a randy female doctor, a sadistic torturer, a nightclub singer and fart-lighting grave diggers.

There is double and tripple crossing, a mass prison shower scene, a chase through the women's section of the public baths, a hidden gem stone -- all-in-all an absorbing way to spend 90 minutes watching a Bulgarian shaggy dog story told with lots of prison philosophy thrown in.

If Zift is indicative of Bulgarian filmmaking then I'm keen to see more

Ian's rating 4/5

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