Lady Zee Scores Bullseye for the Critics Prize By Andres Laasik

in 10th Sofia International Film Festival

by Andres Laasik

How can a young lady, who only knows how to shoot with a gun, manage in contemporary Bulgaria? Bulgarian film director Georgi Djulgerov finds an answer to that question in his bitter comedy ????? ?? (Lady Zee)… This film is deeply touching on the one side and, at the same time, offers great images reflecting Bulgarian society.

Aneliya Garbova plays Zlatina who has grown up in an institution for abandoned children. At the beginning of the film, the film tells the audience what the rules are in this environment where only rapists can survive. We learn that Zlatina’s mother (Krasimira Nikolova), a gypsy woman, had to abandon her daughter in difficult circumstances.

The real story begins when Zlatina starts out on her independent life and comes to work at the shooting gallery which belongs to Nayden (Ivan Barnev) who operates on the thin line between the law and a life of crime. Zlatina is introduced to a new life that is like the next level of experience from the orphanage.

This Bulgarian film is evidence that success not only depends on a good idea and screenplay, but in particular on good actors. They must at least create characters that will convince the audience. Aneliya Garbova shows us the beast which is both very human and also attractive as a woman in her own way. In each shot, we can see a strong character being played out before the camera.

Zlatina has her own shadow in this film – her fellow orphanage inmate Lechko (Pavel Paskalev) who is bound to Zlatina through his love and admiration for her. Lechko is not only a shadow who is always following Zlatina – he is the person telling Zlatina’s story like the little boy who told the crime story in Zhang Yimou’s Shanghai Triad. And everything that happens in Zlatina’s story is seen by us through Lechko’s eyes.

Lechko’s storytelling creates the frame which brings much light into this dark story that is held together by masterful editing as one constantly passes from the face of Lechko and Zlatina’s baby to the recounting of past events in the lives of his father and late mother.