Whilst immigration, and the control thereof, is an issue for almost every country, in the EU it has become a political hot potato. Although the focus is often on Greece, France or Italy, each country has their own challenges and issues. Southern Europe sees most of its migration come from Africa, but in countries like Bulgaria this influx is from the east, through Turkey. This is the subject for Ivaylo Hristov’s new film, Fear.
Svetla (Svetlana Yancheva) has found herself recently unemployed. The former teacher lives on her own in a village near the border. Whilst out hunting in the forest one day, she encounters an African man (Michael Flemming). The border guards are not interested, there are too many refugees and nowhere to put him. With no other option, she takes him home. Despite not speaking the same language, the pair form an unlikely bond.
Fear is a marvellously acerbic offbeat comedy which has its roots firmly embedded in a human drama. Hristov uses the absurdities of the situation as the foundation for this film, affording each of his characters an aspect of his country’s (often) parochial and archaic beliefs. This air of almost surrealism is heightened by the choice to film in black and white. Using humour to make more serious points, Fear is something of a wonder.
Fear screened at Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival.