Viktoria | Chicago Reader

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155 minutes · 2014

In the last decade of Bulgarian communism, a young woman longs for freedom in the West (we know this because the lighter she uses to chain-smoke her cigarettes is shaped like the Statue of Liberty). But instead of her dream coming true, she gets pregnant and, despite multiple efforts to induce miscarriage, gives birth to a baby girl; the child has no belly button to make sure we understand she has no connection to her mother. This 2014 debut feature by Maya Vitkova is long on portentous symbolism and short on coherent storytelling. She's trying to relate the whole history of her country, but her hollow, archetypal characters sag under the thematic load they're made to bear. In Bulgarian with subtitles.
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