Christmas Tree Upside Down is the project of two Bulgarian directors, Vassil Zhivkov and Ivan Cherkelov. Three years ago they decided to write a few different stories that would reflect on the human state of mind in contemporary Bulgaria, ten years after the country went through its first stage of transition.
The result is six separate short stories, linked by a huge pine that is harvested in the prologue and then travels through Bulgaria to be erected in the capital at the end of the film. The tree is our guide through the country. It reveals the people and their lives, and takes us back to its history - ancient Greece and Socrates. There is a birthday celebration in a mountain house, a lyrical story of a pregnant teenager, a snapshot of a Gypsy family, a story about a suicidal man and a symbolical mass dance. Male, female, young, old, rich or poor - all are confronted with the meaning of life, and all deal with it differently. The film is full of present-day reality as well as enigmatic reality and poetic pictures. In addition to some well-known Bulgarian actors the directors worked with many non-professionals. (LC)

Original title
Obarnata elha
Filmmaker
Ivan Cherkelov, Vassil Zhivkov
Country
Bulgaria, Germany
Year
2006
Medium
35mm
Length
127’
Language
Bulgarian
Producer
Rossita Valkanova OUD
Production Company
Klas Film, Filmkombinat Nordost
Sales
MDC International GmbH
Writer
Vassil Zhivkov, Ivan Cherkelov
Cinematography
Rali Ratchev
Editor
Gergana Zlatanova
Production Design
Vanina Geleva
Sound Design
Alexander Bachvarov, Sebastian Schmidt
Cast
Alexandra Vassileva, Slava Doicheva