In step with the centuries-old Slavic pagan tradition – Kukeri – Vladi and his men transform into giant, fantastical beasts harvested from animal hairs. Their elaborate costumes are intended to scare away evil spirits for the upcoming year. Witnessing the unique life and labor fulfilled by Vladi and his goats, Gospodinov’s Merak enters us into a quiet Bulgarian community where we witness the men’s loving dedication to Kukeri. With a haunting beauty, the film documents methodical practice in service to a world of the ethereal.
Dzhovani Gospodinov is a Bulgarian filmmaker raised in Luxembourg. His documentary practice explores performance and anthropological observation with an interest in how humans and animals coexist.
Merak has toured several festivals, including but not limited to the 2021 Athens International Film and Video Festival, the 45th Norwegian Short Film Festival, the 12th Luxembourg City Film Festival, and the Odense International.
6:30 PM session 1
505 Rue Jean-Talon E,
Montréal, QC H2R 1T6