Sev is Yanitsa Paramova’s second documentary – to be out soon. It is a rare and touching film about the life of a Bulgarian orphan.
After spending his childhood in notorious Bulgarian orphanages, Sev is on a journey back to his troubled past. He travels from the UK to Bulgaria to visit the orphanage he grew up in. He brings a generous charitable donation, in the form of a memorable Christmas party, to the sixty orphans. The experience transports Sev back to his past, touching his heart in a way he never expected.
Through Sev’s painful memories of childhood misery and crime, this documentary feeds the viewer’s imagination of badly run, poverty stricken orphanages in Bulgaria during the 1980s. Sev retraces his steps back to his home town for a tear-filled reunion with his aunt, followed by a visit to his father’s abandoned house, facing disturbing images reminding him of his teenage struggles. Enroute to the orphanage, viewers watch Sev collect pairs of shoes from the factory, wrapped in Christmas gift bags for the thrilled orphans. They then get to witness tear-jerking scenes of children elated by the sight of Christmas gifts.
This journey reveals the painful reality of orphaned children’s fate and the breakdown of Sev’s emotional barriers – shattering the mask of a composed emotionless man, a man who has buried his horrifying past, a man hoping to create happy memories for others and through these to heal himself. The story portrays the significance of charity, hope and ambition. It depicts the life of hundreds of sad children through the journey of one brave man. It shows pain and happiness in equal measures.
Guest post by Yanitsa Paramova (MA Social Policy and Administration, 2000).