The most WANTED Bulgarian movie
Still BANNED in its own country!
Something terrible happens again on the Balkans. Censorship, political persecution, trials in absentia, film prohibition – all those words known from the near past behind the iron curtain…
No – you are not back in the Communist era, you are living in 2009 and yes,
On May 13 2009, an international arrest warrant was issued for the Canadian / Bulgarian filmmaker Alexo Petrov – director and co-producer of BAKLAVA – the most wanted Bulgarian movie of all times.
Banned in its country of origin under accusations of containing scenes promoting drug use, pornography and homosexuality, the commotion generated by BAKLAVA led to an investigation of the Bulgarian government, trial and sentence in absentia.
Baklava has been shot with the participation of several children from an orphanage in Bourgas, and it tells the story of two brothers reunited in a hunt for a mysterious buried treasure.
Apparently, something else, more disturbing than the pictured orphans’ life, scared some Bulgarian politicians. Among the other scenes with documentary character, there is a sequence where bunch of gentlemen in black suits, with ties in different colors, corrupt, undress and “dance” with young girl in Bulgarian national dress. Allusions with the corrupted and arrogant Bulgarian politicians are unavoidable.
In the peak of the scandal Petrov, who lives in
“I went back in
What is happening with the BULGARIAN KIDS ON OUR STREETS is much more terrifying than what is shown in the movie. The extermination of all moral values makes us go away and search for happiness in temporary and easily gained spaces.”
It is well known that Baklava is charitable independent production and all the staff in movie, including actors, musicians, crew participated on a volunteer basis. However, on May 28th the Bulgarian film director Alexo Petrov has been sentenced in absentia to a fine of 3500 leva for "employing seven children aged between 16 and 18 without consent from the Labor Inspection". It was not yet clear whether Petrov would be prosecuted on charges of production and distribution of pornography, promotion of drug use, violence and homosexuality, district prosecutor Chervenyakov was quoted by the news agencies.
Today more than three years after the film shooting, the director Alexo Petrov still lives abroad and can not go visit his parents in
Director of controversial film Baklava fined - updateAlexo Petrov, producer and director of the controversial Bulgarian film Baklava has been sentenced in absentia to a fine of 3500 leva for "employing seven children aged between 16 and 18 without consent from the proper institutions".
On May 13 2009, an international arrest warrant was issued for Petrov, who has been living in Toronto, Canada, since 2004. According to district prosecutor Andrei Chervenyakov, Petrov has not been in Bulgaria since 2007 and police had not been able to arrest him despite the international arrest warrant.
The sentence was handed down by the Bourgas District Court on May 28 2009 and announced on June 3 by Chervenyakov.
Baklava, shot with the participation of several children from an orphanage in Bourgas, tells the story of two brothers reunited in a hunt for a mysterious buried treasure.
A row over the film erupted after local media reportedly received complaints from "concerned citizens" about the graphic content of two promotional clips for the film that appeared on YouTube, Vbox7 and other video sharing websites.
In a statement when the row broke, Petrov said: "The film at some point maybe is entertaining, shocking or even makes people blush, but at least it shows what is really going on in Bulgaria. On the street, in our concrete apartments, at bus stations, on TV, on the overcrowded stadiums during pop folk concerts, in the bars, in the orphanages and children's care homes."
"What is happening to Bulgarian kids on our streets is much more terrifying than what is shown in the movie," Petrov said
Since its 2007 premiere in Varna, the film has been shown in The Netherlands and the UK, among others.
In an open letter in September 2008, Petrov has denied being on the run or hiding from the Bulgarian police. "The Bulgarian Agency for the Protection of the Child has had my name, address and telephone number since May 2006," Petrov said. "All filming permits issued by the agency at the request of authorities include my data and signature."
Petrov told The Sofia Echo he would appeal the decision.
It was not yet clear whether Petrov would be prosecuted on charges of production and distribution of pornography, Chervenyakov was quoted as saying by Bulgarian news agency BTA.