dir. Ralitza Petrova
In a remote Bulgarian town, Gana (Irena Ivanova) is a visiting nurse who looks after elderly dementia patients while also trafficking their ID cards on the black market with her boyfriend and co-conspirator Aleko. She lives with her mother, with whom she barely speaks, and her relationship with Aleko centres on the pair’s addiction to morphine, small bottles of which Gana regularly stocks up on from the medical cupboards of her workplace. Nothing seems to have consequences for Gana or to stir any emotion in her, not even the incidental murder of a patient who threatens to expose her trafficking business. It is not until she starts chatting to new patient and retired choirmaster Yoan, and listens to his choir singing religious songs, that Gana’s own life and story begin to come into focus and her conscience begins to awaken from its morphine-induced stupor. This, however, does not come without personal risk or sacrifice.
Ralitza Petrova’s feature debut is a raw tale about what it takes to survive in an uncaring and complicit society that bears all the scars and marks of decades of oppressive rule. Godless was awarded the Golden Leopard at the 2016 Locarno International Film Festival, as well as the Best Actress award and Ecumenical Jury Prize. This screening of Godless is a UK premiere.