The World is Big and Salvation Lurks around the Corner
Stefan Komandarev

Synopsis

Bulgaria, 1980. Clouds are gathering over Alex's idyllic childhood in a small provincial town. Militia wants his father to spy on Alex's grandfather, Bai Dan, the local King of backgammon. The family decides to emigrate to the West. 25 years later Alex is in German hospital after severe car crash in which his parents have died. Bai Dan goes off to Germany. Alex does not recognise his grandfather because he now suffers from amnesia as a result of the accident. Bai Dan teaches his grandson backgammon. The ancient game restores Alex back to life. Bai Dan drags Alex out of hospital and they set off on the road with tandem bicycle. On this journey back to Bulgaria, which is also a journey back to the past, Alex gets his memory back, and with it, the will to live again. The film is based on the autobiographical novel by Ilija Trojanow.

director's statement

The story running through “The world is big …”, fascinates me by its treatment of some of the most important yet simple questions of humanity: who am I, what are my roots, how should I live my life? Finding personal and concrete answers to these questions presumes a difficult spiritual journey within one's own character. One can set off on this journey alone, or one can use a method tried and tested in the East – serve as an apprentice to a master (pupil to a guru), who has already found the answers...

Many of my friends and relatives went off to the West with high hopes. Their hopes were mixed with nostalgia and confusion, in the same way that the foreign language wove itself into their native speech. Leave or stay? Should we go home or adapt to the foreign country? Which world do you belong to: the one you were born into, or the one where you'll die?

For the first time in a film project, “The world is big …” deals with backgammon, its philosophy and its view of the world. The charm of the backgammon players' slang, typical jokes, the enigmatic atmosphere in the players' café will all be featured. Backgammon is the oldest game still in existence. It exists all around the world but is particularly typical for the Balkans. In its own way it is a part of the story of each of the heroes in our film: it guides their destinies across the boundaries of time and space. The guide in this journey is Bai Dan: the King of backgammon. Intelligent and kind, his voice leads us through events with the wisdom and humour of a modern day philosopher.

We aim to bring to the screen a magical story, filled with humor, which tells of overcoming barriers and merging opposites. A tale where everything is possible because “The world is big and salvation lurks around the corner!”

Crew

Director
director of photography
Emil Christov
music by
editor
Nina Altaparmakova
costume designer
Marta Mironska

Actors

Bai Dan
Alex
Carlo Ljubek
Vasko
Hristo Mutafchiev
Jana
Anna Papadopulu
Babica Sladka
Lyudmila Cheshmedzieva
Maria
Dorka Gryllus
Brezmadežni
Nikolay Urumov
Alex (kot otrok)
Blagovest Mutafchiev
Ivo Chicago
Vassil Vassilev - Zueka
Stojan
Stefan Valdobrev
Turek
Meray Ulgen
Zdravnik
Heinz-Joseph Braun
Marta
Napsugar Forgo
Sforza
Georgi Kadurin
Lastnik kavarne
Pavel Popandov
Tihotapec
Dobrin Dosev
Kockar
Alexander Doynov

Data

Year
2008
Genre
feature
Film format 
S16 mm 
Video format 
35mm 
Lenght 24fps 
105 minut 
Length 25fps 
2899 metrov 
Sound 
Dolby Digital SR-D 
aspect ratio 
2,35:1 
color 
color 
language 
bulgarski 
translation 
english 
 
 
© 2009 - 20 Vertigo