Cineaste Maudit Production

Life Almost Wonderful

Happiness is out of reach, yet not more than a hope away...

Bulgaria, Belgium, 2013, 85 min, documentary

Production: Cineaste Maudit Production and Congoo bvba


Festivals participation:

IDFA 2013, Competition for Feature-Length Documentary

Golden Rhyton, Bulgarian Non-fiction Fest 2013 – Critics’ Award

ZagrebDox 2014, Regional competition – Special Mention

18th Sofia International Film Festival, 2014 Documentary competition – Special Mention


Author, director, producer:

Svetoslav Draganov

Co-producer: Paul Pauwels

Cinematographer: Vesselin Hristov

Music: Boris Changarov

Sound: Ivan Andreev

Editor: Zornitsa Blyangova

Commissioning editor YLE: Sari Volanen


With the support of:

Executive Agency National Film Centre, Bulgaria
MEDIA Programme of the European Union
Vlaams Audiovisueel Fonds, Belgium
In association with Bulgarian National Television and YLE, Finland


Life Almost Wonderful tells the story of three brothers who come from a complicated social background. What they have in common is their mother and the surname she gave them – Liliev. With three different fathers, all long absent from their lives, the boys fight for a place under the sun even with their mom no longer alive. The eldest brother, Alexander, is a hairdresser who likes wearing makeup and taking part in hairdressing contests. The middle one, Bozhidar, is a monk living in retreat in a monastery, but sometimes finds it hard to adhere to the holy vows. The youngest, James, is an unemployed bartender who plans to go to Belgium to marry his girlfriend. It’s been five years since their mother passed away and the last remaining family bond they share is an estranged grandmother, their mom’s mom, who they barely know. In an emotional revelation she talks about the men’s youth, her daughter Lily and the hardships they all went through. Despite choosing different paths to go along, surprising as it may seem, Alexander, Bozhidar and James manage to stick together. The world might sometimes be cruel to them but they consider life wonderful. Happiness is still out of reach but not more than a hope away


The Wonderfulness of Life

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