Shibil – dir. Nikola Bozadzhiev

Original Film Title: Shibil (adaptation of the famous Bulgarian story written by Yordan Yovkov)

Directors Name: Nikola Bozadzhiev

Writers Name: Nikola Bozadzhiev

Producer: First Clapper

Country of Origin: Bulgaria

Country of Filming: Bulgaria

Language: Bulgarian

Runtime: 1 hour 55 minutes 13 seconds

Film Description: 

This is a story of impossible love, seen through the eyes of an unexpected character – the incarnated soul of the main character – his horse.

The second half of the 19th Century. Because of the weakened power of the central Ottoman government, Bulgaria has fallen prey to disorder, robbery and violent outrage.

Skill and bravery turn a local brigand, named Shibil, into a threat to the authorities and a legend among young men. A reward is proclaimed for Shibil’s head

During harvest, Shibil meets Rada, the daughter of Veliko Kehaya, the richest merchant in the area and they fall in love with each other.

In order to demonstrate his loyalty to the Ottoman government, Veliko Kekhaya devises an unheard of trap for Shibil – using his own daughter as bait.

Shibil decides that he will give up brigandage in order to marry Rada and live a normal life. He comes down to the village centre.

Against his daughter’s will, Veliko Kehaya weaves his love-trap, which cannot be unraveled, and into this woven mesh fall all his friends and enemies.

Shibil and Rada embrace love, which in the eyes of their suffering mothers and the villagers is equal to death.

But in the eyes of the narrator – death is just a threshold, and love is an eternity.

The narrator of this story is Shibil’s soul. Its personification, according to ancient Bulgarian pagan beliefs is the horse.

At the story end, it becomes clear that this story flows through the eyes of Shibil’s horse.