Edna provintsalna bolnitsa

A Provincial Hospital
A Provincial Hospital (Ilian Metev, Ivan Chertov, Zlatina Teneva)

A provincial hospital serving a town with a population of 50,000 in western Bulgaria: here in the Covid ward the eccentric Dr Popov and his team are fighting to save lives. The film naturally isn’t aiming to depict human suffering. Its survey of an ordinary Bulgarian hospital environment seeks instead to draw our attention to the country’s obsolete and underfunded healthcare system and, via the various situations they depict, to remind us of our attitudes at the time when faced with an unknown threat. However, the bleak proceedings are offset by cheery interviews conducted in the hospital’s rooms and corridors which show that, even when looking death in the face, people still have a sense of humour. (Festival information, Karlovy Vary 2022, Martin Horyna)