›› Pride ‹‹

a short film by Pavel G. Vesnakov.

2013 | 30 mins | Bulgaria.

a powerful take on homophobia within the family unit.

Dave says:

From director Pavel G. Vesnakov comes this powerful take on homophobia within the family unit.

For Manol (Mihail Mutafov) is that man; the patriarch of a family who holds a strict set of moral values. Yet his righteous world is to come tumbling down around him when rumours start to fly that his beloved grandson Georgi (Aleksandar Aleksiev) is gay. Spying on the young man; cold war fashion, it isn't long before what he fears becomes a confirmed reality, all of which beckons a harsh face-to-face encounter between the two men, with Manol in no uncertain terms laying down the law, telling his grandson to go straight or face the consequences of bringing shame upon the family name.

And it's here that you really want to take Georgi's hand and say that "it's okay to be gay" given such a heartless reprimand could well push him to the edge, if not beyond it, in a world devoid of hope; devoid of same-sex love. Thankfully into such a foreboding narrative mix Vesnakov, alongside co-writer Vanya Rainova add a subplot, by way of the arrival of Georgi's mother (Svetlana Yancheva) from Germany; namely a woman armed with news that's all but set to further derail the social beliefs that Manol holds dear, yet could equally shine a ray of light in Georgi's direction.

In short, this is a work that finds the moral code of yesteryear clashing with the liberal-minded views of today, with Mutafov giving a commanding portrayal of a character you're clearly not going to like, here vividly capturing the domineering presence of a man determined in his view to right a sexual wrong, with Aleksiev not offering a single word in his defence, leaving Ani Bakalova as the loving grandmother of the piece to speak on his behalf, only for her outstretched hand of human compassion to be firmly cast aside by a man so fixed in his bigoted ways, that he will not budge an inch from his opinions, even if it means that those he loves will move miles to escape them.

That Vesnakov has set his film in a working class area so laden with graffiti, poverty and the starkness of life is of no surprise, given such a backdrop only adds to the brutal reality of a work that cannot help but get under your skin, poignantly reflecting how for some to thy ownself being true, is but an impossible dream in a country and like all too many others in that part of the world, hold socially conservative attitudes to those of homosexual inclination. All of which makes for a definition of the word PRIDE that we certainly do not use in Western Europe. Say no more.

›› available as part of the NEW QUEER VISIONS: PARENTAL GUIDANCE shorts compilation.
›› posted: Thursday, 23rd September, 2021.

Gay Visibility - overt. 
Nudity - none. 
Overall - file under ... 4 stars. 

donations are the lifeblood of Gay Celluloid;
every drop helps keep it online - thank you :)
Copyright 2021 David Hall - www.gaycelluloid.com.
archive reference #2021073
›› previous page | back to top | print me ‹‹
click for gay celluloid - home