Cineaste Maudit Production

Amateurs

A documentary film about the hilarious and heartbreaking moments in the life of the provincial Bulgarian town of Topolovgrad.

Bulgaria, 2005, 79 min, documentary

The medical equipment factory which kept the whole town in work during socialist times has been derelict for fifteen years. Second-hand clothing and domestic supplies shops have opened all over the town, which is pasted everywhere with adverts offering work abroad.

There’s no work and no money…
But there’s amateur culture!

Defying the poverty, the 110-year-old “Chitalishte”- amateur cultural centre is working at full steam, proud of its amateur theatre troupe and its authentic stage with a turntable in the middle. The equipment often breaks down and the turntable refuses to go around, but never mind. “Chitalishte” is the centre of the social life in the town. They hold concerts there, organise exhibitions and run elections campaign. But the big event every year is the Balkan Festival of Amateur Comedy Theatre, Pantomime and Satire. And since there’s never been a theatre without intrigue, real-life stories weave in and out of the lives of two 46-year-old blondes: Krasimira, the Head of the Culture Department – the main person, responsible for the rise of culture in Topolovgrad, and Lyudmilla, a primary school teacher and actress in the amateur troupe. The former is a born winner, the latter a born loser. Two women from both sides of the coin of fortune mix their illusions and dreams with reality through laughter and through tears.

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