Children of the Silent Revolution reveals the insight of a special group of young people
Viktoria Ershova had a great idea to make her high school reunion special.
Why not make a short film showing how the lives of those in her circle of friends had transpired over the past ten years? What had happened to each? Where were they? Had they achieved success? Little did she know that her idea to focus on a small group of friends from a relatively small city would lead to a much bigger idea that has implications for the global community.
Fresh out of one of the best film schools in Southern California, Viktoria was confident she had the skills to make her film interesting and entertaining and a highlight of the reunion. But as Viktoria delved deeper into production, the script for what was supposed to be just a short video began to change dramatically and the film’s purpose and structure became transformed.
To understand why, one must appreciate that this was no ordinary group of friends. They had grown up together in Bulgaria and their high school years had been overshadowed by one of the most dramatic political and economic transformations in recent history—the fall of communism across Eastern Europe.
The crumbling of the Iron Curtain in 1989 offered so much promise for these young people who, under Communism, were accustomed to rolling electrical blackouts and the rationing of many basic goods that we take for granted in the West. Theirs was a unique generation steeped in an atmosphere of hope and optimism tempered by fear and uncertainty.
Viktoria and her friends were certain that democracy and capitalism would deliver them into a happier and brighter world. So they studied hard and many of them left Bulgaria for Western Europe and America to ensure this opportunity would not escape them.
Ten years later, Viktoria was eager to see how her friends had been changed by their newfound freedom and opportunity. The answers she got to that question surprised her and inspired her to make a larger, more sweeping documentary that confirms what other movements around the globe are finding about what is needed to achieve true positive transformation. She and her friends are in a unique position to show why political revolutions fall short of building a better world for all people.
Viktoria spent seven years working on her film, traveling between Bulgaria and Los Angeles and other points where her friends lived, including Norway, New York, London and Dublin. What unfolded continued to inspire her in her quest to discover what is most important in life.
Viktoria’s film, Children of the Silent Revolution, looks at the lives of nine of her closest friends to show the disparity in the paths they took alongside the similarities in the lessons they have learned in their journeys. It examines the current state of Bulgaria, contrasting the mood and attitude of people there before and after the revolution. Are they better off now in Bulgaria or have they only traded one set of problems for another?
While the film is a microcosmic study of a small group of people from a small Eastern European nation, the characters expose themes that haunt everyone in the modern Western world. Namely, what price have we paid for economies built on materialism and consumerism? How do we build economies and societies that are truly sustainable and built on values that bring real peace of mind and happiness?
The characters in Viktoria’s film contribute authoritative voices arising from their experiences living under vastly different economic and social structures. It is a film with thoughtful and important insight for a world that is struggling to find a new way to ensure its economic and social future.
The film is near completion, but Viktoria still needs resources to complete the post-production process and has launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise the necessary funds. More about the campaign can be found on the film’s Kickstarter page:
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