In a world where the hidden is visible for the eye…
A successful career woman in her late 30s’ who wants a child, is left by her partner. She needs to start anew, but the grief is there, right beside her, as an African elephant in her apartment.
Raya does not notice the Elephant that takes her living room, when she is back from work… While the animal is eating from her plate over breakfast… While it baths with her, pouring hot water from its trunk in the bathroom… She does not understand, that the Elephant helps her gather the objects, clothes and photographs of her exEpartner, to pack them and send them via courier… Raya doesn’t have a clue that the Elephant takes most of her bedroom, while she’s asleep, but in her dream…
In her dream, Raya calls the Elephant… Her way to move on is by giving the love memories, along with the grief, back to her ex.
Half a year earlier, Raya’s father, a retired science professor, wants to finish the work of his life E discover the Garden of Eden. His wife Elysa has just died…
He goes on a car trip, carrying the ash urn with her remains. While picking up hitchhikers on the road, it becomes clear that Prof. Galabov has spent his life trying to prove that the Garden of Eden was at the Durankulak Lake on the Black Sea of Bulgaria. There were unseen creatures, unknown plants, exotic birds, even lions there… But his fellow travelers think he is crazy and make him question his own dream. He is weak without his wife, the one person who always supported him.
Raya’s father gets to the lake by sunset and scatters the ashes of his wife. He has given up on his dream… Exhausted, he lays down in the grass and closes his eyes. Not so long after that, he hears steps… A lion passes. And his wife Elysa, as a young, beautiful, naked woman, is walking towards an apple tree with a serpent wrapped around it…
Another half a year earlier, the New Year’s resolution of Professor Galabov’s grandson, an independent teenage boy, is to get rid of his little brother.
Raya’s nephews, the teenager Michail and his little brother Bozhidar, are locked home at New Year’s Eve. For some reason, their parents would not let them play outside. They are only allowed to watch TV. Michail is angry that he is with Bozhidar again, that they are locked home, that there is no snow… But when a TV presenter announces that a great number of natural disasters will be happening in the New Year, Bozhidar starts crying. Michail calls him stupid and reminds him of how their family rescued them from a flood last summer…
Bozhidar calms down. But when the dinner guests E Raya and her partner, Prof. Galabov and Elysa E arrive with a puppy as a present, the parents announce their divorce. Next year, they will be separating the boys – Michail will live with his father, as he is all grown up now, while Bozhidar will stay with his mother. Michail unexpectedly breaks down, but his little brother is there to help…
A year in the life of one family passes in three stories of loss, where the day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day.
October 11, 2017
Graduated from the National Academy for Theatre and Film Arts in 2001. She worked as an assistant director, casting director and executive producer for over twenty national and international productions, i.e. Kamen Kalev’s EASTERN PLAYS, which premiered at the Cannes Directors’ Fortnight and was nominated for the Camera d’Or , was among the 3 finalists for the LUX Prize, in the official EFA selection, and Bulgaria’s foreign film Oscar nomination.
Maya Vitkova’s debut feature film project VIKTORIA was the first Bulgarian feature in competition at the Sundance Film Festival. The film was slelected to 70 international festivals and won 10 awards, and was greatly reviewed by the Hollywood Reporter, IndieWire, The New Yorker, Vogue Magazine, Screen International, Filmmaker Magazine, Twitch Magazine and more, making it to #4 of the best films of 2016 according to The New Yorker.
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