Shiny supermarkets stand next to dilapidated factory buildings in the Bulgarian city of Pernik, one of the Balkans once most important industrial areas. Pernik used to be a symbol of industrialization in the early 20th century, then a symbol of “socialist construction” and the “model worker” since the 1950’s and a symbol of industrial decline since the 1990’s in Bulgaria. The film explores daily life experiences and memories in a city where multiple epochs and teleologies of modernity coexist. People’s lives are filtered by Pernik’s industrial history, by the broader shift from the socialist to the post-socialist era and by Bulgaria’s entrance to the EU in 1997.
The film follows six people from different professional backgrounds, in spaces of importance to their working lives. Most of them belong to those generations who spent their lives under both socialism and post-socialism. The last decades’ intense transformations have produced cracks in their lives, both material and immaterial. The filmic narrative focusses on people’s working lives, through which stories unfold: current work practices, memories from the abandoned factories, migration stories, stories about strikes and daily coping strategies. The "cracks" are apparent in the urban landscapes and in peoples’ stories. They are employed in the film as metaphors that underline the meeting points of multiple temporalities; cracks inscribe changes and epochs while they also connect them.
In the 2019 RAI Film Fest
Language and subtitlesBulgarian
Location(s) depictedPernik, industrial town in Bulgaria