Film and TV

Starz Denver Film Festival November 17 Must-See: Viktoria

Again this year, Starz Denver Film Festival artistic director Brit Withey is offering his must-see picks for each day of the fest -- including many flicks that movie lovers might otherwise miss amid the flood of silver-screen goodies.

Today, he spotlights Viktoria.

See also: The Ten Best Movie Events in Denver in November

Viktoria Directed by Maya Vitkova Monday, November 17, 6:45 p.m. (advance tickets sold old; tickets may be available one hour prior to showtime) Wednesday, November 19, 7:15 p.m. SDFF Sie FilmCenter

Viktoria is a film made in Bulgaria, "which is interesting right off the bat, because that's something we don't see very often," Withey says. "It's a drama, but one that's sort of surreal and absurdist.

"The film is about a woman in late '70s Bulgaria who's a die-hard communist -- very hard-line. She's a worker and she really doesn't want a family, but she gets pregnant, and the child ends up being born with no umbilical cord. And the government treats it like a miracle baby, the socialist baby of the decade."

"The child is taken over by the government and given all the perks you can imagine as a representative of the government," Withey goes on. "She gets her own apartment, has her own motorcade and limo and is taken wherever she wants to go -- and that makes the mother even more bitter and angry.

"Then, ten years later, communism crashes and the ten-year-old child is dropped and given back to her mother -- and they have to find a way to get along with each other, to become a family. And that's extremely difficult, because the child was sort of treated like a queen, and now she's not being treated that way anymore, and the mother, who didn't want her in the first place, is being put in the position of having to be a mom.

"It's a very dark comedy, but also a political tale as well, and exceptionally beautiful to watch on screen. There's one scene in which this woman finds herself in a rainstorm, and it seems to be raining milk...."

Below, see a trailer for Viktoria. To access all the film festival's selections and purchase tickets, click here -- and be sure be to visit our Show and Tell blog each day during the fest for more of Brit's picks.

Send your story tips to the author, Michael Roberts.

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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts