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Directed by Maya Vitkova

Bulgaria, Romania 2014 155 mins.

Writer-director Maya Vitkova’s debut feature, which premiered at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival, follows three generations of women in the early years of Bulgaria’s transition from communism to democracy. The story focuses on reluctant mother Boryana and her daughter, Viktoria, who in one of the film’s surreal, magical touches is born without an umbilical cord. Though unwanted by her mother, Viktoria is named the country’s “Baby of the Decade,” and is showered with gifts and attention until the disintegration of the East Bloc. Though this upheaval throws their world off balance, the resulting political changes also allow for the possibility of a new mother-daughter reconciliation. Vitkova makes her unique tale both personal and universal, shifting emotional tones from absurdist humor to political allegory to moving family drama. “Strikingly assured and ambitious . . . an arresting mix of satire, surrealism and drama.”—Dennis Harvey, Variety. (Bulgarian with English subtitles)

Read The New Yorker‘s Richard Brody on Viktoria—”One of the great recent films by a woman about women, and it casts Vitkova to the forefront of contemporary filmmakers. Her inventiveness, her confessional and technical audacity, her emotional and historical insight, the unity of her dramatic and aesthetic sensibilities, make the film a treasure of the current cinema.”

Genres: Drama