Neither the sweeping European vistas nor the masterful Serbian actor Miki Manojlovic (Underground, Irina Palm) can save this Bulgarian road movie (2008) from its treacly sentimentality. Manojlovic plays an elderly backgammon champ who travels to Germany after his expatriate daughter and her husband die in a car wreck. Their grown son (Carlo Ljubek) has survived the crash but lost his memory, so the old man brings his grandson back to Bulgaria (via tandem bicycle) in the hope that old photos, stories, songs, and locales will cure the young man’s amnesia. Flashbacks illustrate the family’s life in a refugee camp and under Bulgaria’s communist regime, but the revelations aren’t startling, and the grandson’s romance with a tourist he meets along the way serves only to expose some skin and set up a feel-good ending. Stephen Komandarev directed. In Bulgarian, German, Italian, and Slovenian with subtitles.
The World Is Big and Salvation Lurks Around the Corner
1 hour 46 min • 2008