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The Eastern Neighbours Film Festival is visiting Dordrecht with its special On Tour screenings. The Bulgarian thriller FEAR (English subtitles) by filmmaker Ivaylo Hristov will be shown in The Movies on November 6 at 16:00.

Winner of the Grand Prix at the prestigious Black Nights Festival and Bulgaria’s candidate for the Oscar, this is undoubtedly a film of our time that provokingly and with a great sense of humor deals with the fear of “others” and “otherness”.

Svetla (Svetlana Yancheva) is a seemingly rude and sarcastic widow who loses her teaching job due to the closure of the local school. She lives in a seaside village in proximity to the Turkish border. Her life suddenly changes after she accidentally runs into Bamba (Michael Flemming), a refugee doctor from Mali while hunting in the forest. Svetla doesn’t speak English, but she somehow manages to communicate with the stranger and invite him over to her house. Little by little, this unlikely couple slowly gets closer and becomes lovers. Their relationship is not viewed favorably in the small, provincial and xenophobic environment, and riots will soon break out.

With beautiful shots in black and white, this heartwarming thriller receives positive reviews and praise from the audience. Fear is full of humor as we are used to seeing in the classics of Czech masters such as Milos Forman or Jiri Menzel. Critics have highlighted its connection to Fassbinder’s masterpiece “Fear Eats the Soul,” and Yancheva has received praise for her masterful portrayal of a lonely woman entering into a relationship with a migrant.


Bulgaria | 2020 | 100 min

PRODUCTION: Assen Vladimirov – Pro Film

CAST: Svetlana Yancheva, Michael Flemming, Ivan Savov, Krassimir Dokov

SCREENPLAY: Ivaylo Hristov

CINEMATOGRAPHY: Emil Christov                                

EDITING: Toma Waszarow


Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival 2020 – Best Film | Golden Rose Bulgarian National Feature Film Festival – Best Film, Best Actress | Sofia International Film Festival 2021 – Audience Award | South East European Film Festival Los Angeles 2021 – Honorable Mention