Sun and Shadow

Director: Rangel Văltšanov

Country: Bulgaria

Year: 1962

Duration: 75 min

Languages: Bulgarian, subtitled in Finnish

Original name: Slntseto i sjankata

Category: , , ,

People’s Bulgaria with its Black Sea beaches was besides YSFR Croatia the busiest summer tourism nation of the so-called Eastern Bloc – as well as one of the few places in that part of the Europe where people from both sides of the Iron Curtain mingled en masse. Here, we have a local boy and a girl from somewhere in the West who meet on a sunny summer day and find themselves fancying each other. Turns out that the girl’s father is a famous nuclear scientist slowly dying from cancer – which gives their games and talks an ever-darker edge… The way the world is turning, this film becomes very current again… But could it ever be as current as it was in its days: for Sun and Shadow opened back home literally in the middle of the Cuban Missile Crisis…! That’s what you call visionary cinema, as the film can be seen as an allegory about exactly that episode in Cold War history.

On the lighter side: Sun and Shadow hosts the feature film debut of Polish actrice extraordinaire Anna Prucnal, whose career would continue in a curiously international fashion, to end up for good in France – after People’s Poland’s government revoked her passport in disgust with her presence in Dušan Makavejev’s mildly pornographic Sweet Movie (1974).

Olaf Möller