THE UNWANTED tells about one of the ethnic cleansing in the Balkan Peninsula, which took place in the latest 80-ies in Bulgaria. The consequences of it are lasting till now.
The film tells the stories about three women and their divided families. Each of them experienced in her own way this tragedy.
In the South-Eastern part of Bulgaria, close to the border with Turkey, two communities have always lived together - the Bulgarians and the Turks. The Bulgarians keep the memories of centuries long Turkish yoke and the slaughters. The Turks remember the violence of the communist regime.
In the mid 80-ies the Bulgarian communist authorities started to forcefully change the Turkish names of about one million ethnic Turks into Bulgarian ones, in an attempt to resolve the ethnic problems that had been piled up for years.
The ones who did not accept Bulgarian names had to leave Bulgaria. Within a couple of months more than 350 000 people emigrated to Turkey. Entire villages and regions were depopulated. The ethnic cleansing succeeded. The wounds of this separation are bleeding till now.
Selver, one of the main character of the film also has her personal tragedy. Her daughter is behind the closed barrier, over there in Turkey. Since then, she has been looking towards the border and crying...
What is the power that can make a mother decides to entrust the life and the fate of her child to smugglers of children across the border, not thinking of the dangers, which she could thus expose her child to?
What is the power that can make a woman vote in favour of a law that will divide from her nearest and dearest?
This is a story about the people who were robbed of their identity, but who, nevertheless, are full of inexhaustible passion for survival.
The film is a Bulgarian -Turkish co-production with SINEVIZYON Film Company, and is made in co-operation with ZDF/ARTE and with the support of EURIMAGES, SOROS Documentary Fund and Bulgarian National Film Center.
The film was nominated for PRIX EUROPE in Berlin 1999 and is also participated at the International Film Festivals in Bombay, Istanbul, Ankara, Minnesota, Loule, Samos, Kalamata, Modena, Sarajevo, Dubrovnik and United Nations Association Film Festival - UNAFF 2000 US and others.
„The Unwanted" is awarded with Special Award of the Jury at the XII Bulgarian National Non-Fiction Film Festival GOLDEN RITON `99; Grand Prize "Best Documentary Feature" at the edition 2000 of the Minneapolis/ St. Paul International Film Festival; "A Certificate of Merit" at the Jan Karski Film Competition 2001 and Second Prize at International Festival "At Home" 2001 - Krakow, Poland