Three country girls try to make it in the big city in Lyudmil Todorov's soapy, old-fashioned drama "Seamstresses."

Three country girls try to make it in the big city in Lyudmil Todorov’s soapy, old-fashioned drama “Seamstresses.” High on predictability and low on nuanced characterization, pic goes through the usual formulas of the genre without grounding the village/urban clash in anything more dynamic than giggles over crossing traffic-filled streets. Generally appealing leads try gamely, but the script never rises above standard TV fare. Though awarded the Fipresci prize in Sofia, “Seamstresses” won’t be sewing up any contracts outside its mechanically trimmed borders.

Childhood friends Dora (Aleksandra Surchadzhieva), Elena (Ellen Koleva) and Katya (Violeta Markovska) arrive in Sofia with dreams of modeling, or at least dressmaking, but a rather bland encounter with pimp Misho (Yulian Vergov) robs them of such illusions. Katya agrees to work as hostess at Misho’s bar/brothel, while the others accept unglamorous jobs arranged by chirpy roommate Inna (Gergana Stoyanova). Latter’s brooding b.f. Valyo (Assen Blatechki) readily responds to Dora’s encouraging glances, while Katya turns gold-digger behind their backs; only Elena remains a steadfast friend. Concept was recently handled in far more sophisticated ways in Amr Bayoumi’s “Girls.” Poor DigiBeta projection in Sofia meant visuals were impossible to judge.




A Crosspoint production, in association with Bulgarian National Television. Produced by Vlado Shishkov, Petya Braykova, Brayko Braykov. Directed, written by Lyudmil Todorov.


Camera (color, 35mm-to-DigiBeta), Emil Hristov; editor, Nina Altuparmakova; music, Antoni Donchev; production designer, Georgi Todorov-Zhozzi; costume designer, Boryana Semerdjieva. Reviewed at Sofia Film Festival (Bulgarian Features), March 14, 2008. Original title: Shivachki. Running time: 96 MIN.


Aleksandra Surchadzhieva, Ellen Koleva, Violeta Markovska, Assen Blatechki, Yulian Vergov, Filip Avramov, Gergana Stoyanova, Nona Yotova, Yoanna Boukovska, Milen Vangelov, Philippa Baldeva, Dessislava Todorova, Florina Ivanova, Iliya Hristov, Konstantin Noshkov, Nora Taneva, Mohamed Isef.
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