One of the most ambitious Bulgarian projects in recent years, Heights is an adaptation of Milen Ruskov's novel of the same name, published in 2011. The film explores the Bulgarian realities of the 1870s a few years before the war, that would liberate the country from the Ottoman occupation. Directed by Victor Bojinov and adapted by Neli Dimitrova, the story follows Gicho a young man in a revolutionary group led by Dimitar Obshti, a real-life revolutionary fighting against the Turks. After a successful train robbery Obshti entrust Gicho with a special mission: to deliver a letter to Vasil Levski, the country's most famous freedom fighter, now considered hero and dubbed The Apostle of Freedom.
|Release Date||:||November 10, 2017|
|Genres||:||Drama, History, Comedy|
|Production Company||:||Dream Factory Macedonia, Bulgarian National Television, Bulgarian National Film Center, Serpentine, All Stars In, Bulfilm|
|Writers||:||Milen Ruskov, Neli Dimitrova, Viktor Bozhinov|
|Casts||:||Aleksandar Aleksiev, Paraskeva Djukelova, Hristo Petkov, Kiril Efremov, Vassil Mihaylov, Phillip Avramov, Antonio Dimitrievski, Malin Krastev|
|Plot Keywords||:||freedom fighter|
This film doesn't know what it wants to be - it lurches between comedy, satire and moments of elegiac drama. It needs about 30 minutes expunging and the storytelling would be more coherent and impactful. There are some well defined characters and a few that make little useful contribution, but the acting was mostly theatrical, if not bombastic at times. I believe the story would have benefited had the emphasis been placed more on the dramatic and self-sacrificial nature of the events portrayed. The cinematography stands out, as well as the music, but I couldn't help being reminded of The Revenant in respect of both. IMHO, the English title should be Elevation - there is a scene in which a captured revolutionary is being carted along the street and the camera rests on a plaque outside the school wall where we see the word "Vuzvishenie" deployed to mean the kind of elevation only education brings. This theme wove a thread throughout the whole film.