Directions

Bleak but powerful, this Bulgarian ensemble drama presents the capital city of Sofia as a society suffering a collective nervous breakdown. The characters are either living in poverty or demeaning themselves to get out of it; prostitution is a recurring theme, as is suicide, and everybody is miserable and angry. Despite the focus on social decay, the filmmaking is consistently alive: much of the action takes place in taxis, and director Stephan Komandarev establishes a constant sense of motion, moving briskly from one short, revealing episode to the next. No one actor appears onscreen for very long, but each performs with such intensity that the movie feels like one long, continuous scream. In Bulgarian with subtitles.