The Judgement

The title refers to a steep cliff along a mountain road where, according to the protagonist of this 2014 Bulgarian drama, guilty men were pushed to their deaths by the Greeks, the Romans, and the Turks. Could there be any doubt that the story will end there, with two men struggling at the precipice and only one surviving? After a local dairy closes down, leaving the lumpen hero unemployed, he uses his tanker truck to smuggle Syrian refugees into the country; he still harbors a deep, dark secret from the days of the Eastern bloc, though as another character observes, those were the good old days: “There were borders, and a state. Now there’s nothing.” Director Stephan Komandarev (The World Is Big and Salvation Lurks Around the Corner) opts for a tone of drab social realism in keeping with the heavy themes of guilt and hard-won redemption. In Bulgarian with subtitles.