photo: thesinkingofsozopol.com

Sozopol, as from a painting by a marine artist! With water swept away by the rushing breath of the storm and splashed far beyond their allotted frame. Blue is rather gray. Dark colors portend catastrophe - catastrophe and nostalgia. And the familiar smell of inevitability lurks everywhere. Is the sea crying? Does it cry for its past moments? It is as if he feels this irreversibility of the epochs, which distances us more and more from the time when we are beaten. The sea rebels against the relentless course of the days and swallows now to save them - people and streets and all their plots of existence.

 

Such Valzonova was portrayed by Ina Valchanova in her first novel, The Sinking of Sozopol, which was nominated in the competition of the Razvitie Corporation in 2006. However, the story continues to win recognition even after the minor painting was transferred to film. Ina Valchanova wrote, together with the director Kostadin Bonev, a screenplay for the book, which received a "Golden Rose" for drama at the festival in Varna. The film, bearing the same title and showing Deyan Donkov and Snezhina Petrova in the lead roles, in turn won awards from numerous international film festivals. In New York, Prague, Brasov, Berlin, Delhi and Bali it was awarded for best film.

Chavo is a 50-year-old man whose life story is quite dramatic. Such as can happen to anyone. A complicated relationship with the father, two divorces and finally loneliness. After his mother and father died and his brother died as a young man, his two ex-wives fled abroad, and he returned to the deserted family house in Sozopol. It was as if everything had happened there. The house was a stage for all the sketches presented to them by fate. There, the father, not a marine artist but a folk artist, pinned his hopes on his eldest son, Chavo, to follow in his footsteps. That stifling over-ambition of their parents' children to make their own lost dreams come true. The father is so engrossed in his endeavor that even he makes Chavo's school drawings and makes him present them as his own in class. When they were young, he even painted the walls of their children's room like the seabed, and years later the younger son drowned and went to that very bottom. This metaphor shows how what parents think will make their children happy actually often kills them.

photo: thesinkingofsozopol.com

The conflict of the son, who desperately prays for his father's approval, but still is not inclined to continue it, but dares for this approval by being himself, continues into adulthood. Chavo fails to overcome his father's criticism for leaving his first wife and falling in love with Neva, whom he personally dislikes. This reflects on the couple's relationship and they eventually split up.

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photo: thesinkingofsozopol.com

Memories of the past intertwine with scenes from the present. Chavo is alone in the house and remembers. He went there to drink ten bottles of vodka and then something happened. Maybe he committed suicide or maybe something just happened to get him out of his sad delirium. From time to time in different places in the rainy city he is met by a strange woman whom he does not know, but she knows everything about his life.

Nowhere in this story is it clear what is memory, what is reality and what is fantasy. The mysterious woman turns out to be the ghost of Neva's suicidal best friend. The graying whitewashed walls of the empty rooms overlap with the gray of the storm and everything merges into a common amorphous mass. Sozopol is clearly sinking. The sea has enveloped all reality and takes it to infinity.

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