Beautifully photographed by Georgi Bogdanov and Boris Missirkov, the glowing, richly humane Corridor #8, from Bulgaria, won the prize of the ecumenical jury at Berlin and the best documentary prize at Sarajevo. In his mid-thirties, former painter Boris Despodov wrote, directed and, along with Gergana Zlatanova, edited this gently humored, deeply moving film that traverses the projected route of a road that the European Union committed itself to building, linking three Balkan countries, Bulgaria, Macedonia and Albania, attempting to reverse their mutual isolation and the antagonisms this has nurtured, for instance, between Christians and Muslims. Several means of transport contribute to the journey (train, bus, automobile, moped, bicycle, even boat) and—this is the heart and soul of the film—different people are interviewed along the way.
Who are these people? Some are laborers who are building the road; others, various officials either directly or indirectly connected to the project, such as the executive director of the Port of Bourgas, the point at which the road begins in Bulgaria; an Orthodox Christian priest; an archaeologist; an Albanian boy and a Canadian visitor, who has begun the legal procedure for adopting the boy and taking him home. A man breaks down recalling his grandfather’s half-century separation from his sister due to the strict border between them; a woman laments the blood-feud that has made the three males of her household, her spouse and two sons, prisoners inside their home for years. What has her spouse done? Nothing; but his now incarcerated brother killed a member of the family that seeks revenge.
Powerful angled overhead shot: an Islamic congregation in prayer.
Despodov was born in Sofia, Bulgaria. A strong idea launched this ultimately haunting film of his. Do not exit it without taking in the written postscript.
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