THE NEW SOCIAL presents the UK Premiere of Golden Leopard Winning GODLESS from Filmmaker Ralitza Petrova
Winner of the Golden Leopard, Best Actress and Ecumenical Jury Prize at 2016 Locarno Film Festival
Winner of the New Talent Grand PIX Award at CPH PIX Festival
“Steely and compelling... GODLESS represents the debut of an uncompromising talent” – Screen
Screening at the Barbican on Wednesday 25th January / 6.30pm start With post screening Q&A with director Ralitza Petrova
“The effects of communism in Bulgaria keeps on taking its toll, nearly thirty years after its collapse. It’s a reality, where you get away with murder without consequence, and a possibility for hope can only emerge when all is lost. Godless deals with the fall of an ordinary person, forced to act against their good conscience.” – Director Ralitza Petrova
THE NEW SOCIAL is an independent London-based collective which, through film screenings, talks and special projects, takes a sweeping look across Russia and former Soviet and Socialist republics to uncover how new social, political and cultural identities are being played out on film in the post-socialist era. The latest screening as part of THE NEW SOCIAL’s NEW EAST CINEMA programme organised in collaboration with the Barbican and Calvert 22 is Ralitza Petrova’s GODLESS.
In a remote Bulgarian town, Gana (Irena Ivanova), a visiting nurse, looks after elderly dementia patients whilst trafficking their ID cards on the black market with her boyfriend Aleko. Gana 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 consequence for Gana, not even the incidental murder of a patient who threatens to expose her trafficking business. It is not until she encounters a new patient, the retired choirmaster Yoan, and listens to his chorus singing religious songs, that Gana’s own life and conscience begins to awaken. 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. NEW EAST CINEMA is a film series presented in collaboration with the Barbican and Calvert 22 Foundation, curated by THE NEW SOCIAL: a cultural collective bringing contemporary cinema from Eastern Europe and beyond to London.
ABOUT RALITZA PETROVA
Born in Bulgaria, Ralitza lives and works between England, Bulgaria, and France. In early life, she studied Fine Art, and later Fiction Directing at the UK’s National Film and Television School. Her films have won acclaim at film festivals such as Cannes, Berlin, and Toronto, as well as on numerous art platforms, including the Centre Pompidou, Paris. She was previously awarded the Prix UIP, Best European Short Film at Berlinale, and nominated for an EFA. Her film ‘By the Grace of God’, which premiered at Cannes Film Festival, is currently on DVD at the British Film Institute and Tate Modern. Her debut feature ‘Godless’ has been awarded production prizes at TorinoFilmLab’s FrameWork 2013, Sarajevo Film Festival's CineLink 2015, and the Women in Film Finishing Fund, Los Angeles. The film is the winner of the Golden Leopard, Best Actress and Ecumenical Jury Prize at 2016 Locarno Film Festival.
ABOUT THE NEW SOCIAL
THE NEW SOCIAL is an independent London-based collective which, through film screenings, talks and special projects, takes a sweeping look across Russia and the former Soviet and Socialist republics to uncover how new social, cultural and political identities are being played out on film in the post-socialist era. New East Cinema is a regular series of films and talks organised in collaboration with the Barbican and Calvert 22, and which seeks to uncover the most thought-provoking, daring and vibrant cinema coming out of today’s ‘New East’ (the expansive territory that stretches across Eastern Europe, the Balkans, Baltic, Russia and Central Asia). Many of the films in this programme have been picked directly from the international film festival circuit and many are being screened in the UK for the first time. The series goes in search of filmmakers who are not only redefining the cinematic language of their respective countries, but are asking what this ‘post-Soviet’ or ‘post-socialist’ landscape may look like and what legacy it bears. Whether surreal, outright fantastical, outlandish or sobering, these films share a hunger for personal and authentic storytelling and ways of seeing. While the programme at Calvert 22 focuses on documentaries, artist and experimental films, at the Barbican the series showcases recent feature-length auteur-driven films from the international festival circuit.