A Romeo & Juliet-like story recast with idiot savants, “A Leaf in the Wind” is an offbeat mixture of black comedy, rustic superstition and tragi-comedy that’s long on build-up and rapid in resolution. Strong casting — especially of the two impaired leads — makes this a watchable drama. But unlike “Under the Same Sky,” this DV-lensed production for Bulgarian TV is purely small-screen fare, with little life beyond its original medium.
Though she’s medically fine, 16-year-old Vesa (Vesela Kazakova) has remained mute since birth; her strung-out mother (Maria Kavardzhikova) is told by a Turkish clairvoyant that she’ll only begin to speak when someone who’s in a worse condition than she is becomes a “votive offering.” Enter Ilmi (Ivan Burnev), the clairvoyant’s happy-go-lucky but slightly retarded nephew, whose adventures in a “borrowed” truck are cross-cut with Vesa’s fraught home life until the two finally meet by chance 80 minutes into the film. Bozhidar Petkov’s pregnant chamber score gives the production a mystical edge, but it’s the lusty perfs that make this unclassifiable drama engaging — from Kazakova’s gangling, kohl-eyed teen to veteran Tsvetana Maneva’s cackling crone who tries hoodwinking the ingenuous Ilmi.