Directed by Maya Vitkova
Dreaming of the West, Boryana is determined not to have a child in communist Bulgaria. Nonetheless, her daughter Viktoria enters the world in 1979, curiously missing a belly button, and is declared the country’s Baby of the Decade. Pampered by her mother state until the age of nine, Viktoria’s decade of notoriety comes crashing down with the rest of European communism. But can political collapse and the hardship of new times finally bring Viktoria and her reluctant mother closer together
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★★★★★ review by Stephen Jones on Letterboxd
Viktoria is the baby of the decade and the best film of Sundance 2014. Maya Vitkova threw everything into her debut feature except dialogue, and the result is the most epic, affecting, and original romantic comedy in decades. Of course it is only a comedy for a third of its 155 minutes, and it is only a romance in the sense that it is truly tragic, even though the biggest plot points involve babies being born and trips to Venice. Also, the fall of Communism.
★★★½ review by Martin Jensen on Letterboxd
Talking to the people either side of me - one thought it was a masterpiece, one thought it was dreadful - made me realise I'm pretty much in the middle on this. There are some amazingly powerful moments... maybe part of the problem is how confronting and uncomfortable it is. It's hard to judge, because it's rarely actually enjoyable to watch.
★★★★★ review by Anny on Letterboxd
Viktoria, to me, was a punch in the gut. But one of those punches that slowly sinks in your stomach and leaves you aching for days. All the positive and negative reviews are absolutely correct, and that makes this film priceless. We see the evolution of a wold pre-Viktoria, we are aware of the country's reality and what structure this family has in order to understand Viktoria's existence in this environment.
The film gives a complete 360 exploration on what is Viktoria, what she was and has become, where she is going, who she will be in the future. It will do all in a mix of drama and symbolism that is exciting to see. You will be thinking about it for some days, it's a treat. I had the chance to chat to director Maya Vitkova about Viktoria, check here.
★★★★ review by abbie on Letterboxd
painful. not because it is slow, taking its time to unfurl - because it is about being unwanted and existing inside that void. it's about the way womanhood is affected by its surroundings and always has been. how dreams that stay only concepts become a powerful poison. painful.
beautifully shot; not a scene wasted. the moments that employed music were so greatly affecting i wished they were scattered more generously throughout the film. the scene where it rains milk on boryana is one of the most gorgeous scenes i have ever seen in all of my twenty years on earth.
★★★★ review by Libbie Anderson on Letterboxd
I've always been fascinated by the Soviet Era, and Viktoria provides a two-decade, multi-generational perspective on the topic. The film traces the life of the protagonist from an unwanted pregnancy to Communist darling to post-Soviet reject. It sounds daunting, and it is at times, but this has to be one of the most dramatically and aesthetically stunning film I've seen in a while.
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