Nevena Toševa

Scen.: Nevena Toševa, Liliya Metodieva. F., M.: Nevena Toševa. Prod.: Boyana Film. DCP. Bn

T. it.: Italian title. T. int.: International title. T. alt.: Alternative title. Sog.: Story. Scen.: Screenplay. F.: Cinematography. M.: Editing. Scgf.: Set Design. Mus.: Music. Int.: Cast. Prod.: Production Company. L.: Length. D.: Running Time. f/s: Frames per second. Bn.: Black e White. Col.: Color. Da: Print source

Film Notes

Bulgarian documentarist Nevena Tosheva (1922-2013) had chosen a career in teaching, but she only practised it for some two years. Circumstances brought her to the Short Films Studios in Sofia, where she started as an editor, and later became a director. Still, she often turned her attention to the teaching profession. Among her school films, Uchiteli is the most daring one. A truly balanced investigation, it shows both the rewarding and the depressing sides of working in the classroom. Teachers asks questions about short-sighted administrative practices and systematic indoctrination in the context of high school. It can be considered in direct dialogue with Vittorio De Seta’s Diario di un maestro (1972).
Made just after her most acclaimed full-length documentary Fenomenat (Phenomenon, 1976), about famed clairvoyant Vanga and her treatment by the socialist establishment dealt, Uchiteli includes observations on pedagogy that would normally be quietly shunned by other directors. She even talks to a teacher who has left the profession after suffering pressures that broke her moral compass.
In her autobiography, Tosheva includes excerpts of the critical discussion of Uchiteli, preceding a very limited release. On the rare occasions the film was publicly screened, she received criticism from ordinary viewers: they wanted the profession of the teacher to be shown in a more romantic light.

Dina Iordanova

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