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SUN AND SHADOW

Bulgaria, 1962 (MIFF 1963)

Director: Rangel Vylchanov

A Bulgarian boy, and a girl from some western country, chance to meet on a Black Sea beach; they talk, and fall in love. A series of simple themes is used to reveal their character, highlight their feelings and catch the delicate quality of their relationship. The girl is headstrong, yet sensitive; her fears for their future evoke hallucinations of battle destroying the peace of the beach; this sequence is shattering in its intensity. In contrast, the lad is direct and solid; his faith in life allays her premonitions.

Never once does the couple or the camera leave the beach. The poetic love affair is treated with a gentle and natural inventiveness, but the simple idyll is overshadowed by the fear of atomic annihilation.

The director shows skill in developing his two characters, observing them in different moods and his ingenious use of symbols helps to build the film inio a non-partisan plea for peace. It is the director's third film; he previously received an award from Karlovy Vary for The Little Island.

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© Melbourne International Film Festival 2013.

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