I Dream of Mummerswatch a preview
by Adela Peeva
color, 27 min, 2011
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I Dream of Mummers is a story about a custom, called kukeri, in which masked people dance at the end of Winter and the beginning of Spring. The custom's origins are hidden far back in the past — a tradition that has become part of the history of an entire nation. It is found in many places in Bulgaria, but here, in the village of Sushitsa, it has almost completely preserved its authenticity and can still be seen as it was performed centuries ago.
For people here, this is the biggest feast of the year, and today, on its eve, the entire village is preparing for the celebration. Bells are tinkling, costumes and masks are taken out of drawers and attics. Everything looks just as it did in an old newsreel found in the National Film Archives. In 1942 — more than 60 years ago — cameras filmed the same celebration in the same village. Here the tradition is handed down from generation to generation, from father to son, and when shown this archival footage, some people in the village recognized their fathers and grandfathers. One man recognized his father and another saw his grandfather as a young man with curly mustache.
This is a film about a small village and its inhabitants, about an ancient tradition that they have preserved almost intact to this day, and about a friendship as undying as the tradition itself.
Film Festivals, Screenings, Awards
Ashgate Audience Film Prize, RAI International Festival of Ethnographic Film, London, 2011
Preservation of Spiritual Heritage Award, International Festival of Ethnological Film, Serbia, 2011
Best Bulgarian Film, International Mountain Film Festival, Bulgaria, 2011
Festival of Visual Anthropology ASPEKTY, Poland, 2012
Days of Ethnographic Cinema, Moscow, Russia, 2012
Festival of Visual Anthropology ASPECTY, Poland, 2012
Pärnu International Documentary and Anthropology Film Festival, 2011
15th International Ethnographic Movie Festival, Brazil, 2011
"Cultural Heritage Values Reflected in the Cinematography of the Black Sea Region," Romania, 2011
XX International Festival of Ethnological Film, Belgrade, Serbia, 2011