Bulgaria/ Romania, 2014
dir. Maya Vitkova
“A striking first film about a young child without a belly button that explores the relationship of Bulgarians with their country, history and families.” (Boyd van Hoeij, The Hollywood Reporter)
Dreaming of the west, Boryana is determined not to have a child in communist Bulgaria. Her desire is thwarted however by the birth of her daughter Viktoria, who resolutely and determinedly enters the world in 1979. Born without an umbilical cord, Viktoria’s relationship with her mother is severed before it even begins, even as she is declared ‘Baby of the Decade’ and hailed as a living symbol of the Communist party. The debut feature film by Bulgarian director Maya Vitkova, Viktoria is a darkly comic absurdist epic that plays out against a highly fragile and unstable background, as both familial and political terrain shift under the characters’ feet. As the film follows the young Viktoria from birth to adulthood, simultaneously taking in the fall of communism and the birth of a new socio-political space, it forges a powerful metaphorical link between the physical body and the body politic.
Viktoria was screened at Karlovy Vary, Busan, Göteborg, Munich, Galway, Chicago, Seattle, BFI London and many more.The film had more than 70 international selections and 10 awards, and made it to number 4 of the best films of 2016 according to The New Yorker, whilst Vitkova was named one of the five best directors in the world by the magazine.