Cinéma du Réel - International documentary film festival
Et le bal continue
© Ladybird Films

Et le bal continue

And the Party Goes on and on...

Gueorgui Balabanov

2015 / Bulgaria, France / 90 min

i Monday 23 March 18H30 Cinéma 1
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Original Version Subtitled in French and English +DEBATE

i Wednesday 25 March 14H00 Luminor
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Original Version Subtitled in French and English

i Saturday 28 March 18H00 Petite salle
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Original Version Subtitled in French and English +DEBATE

“What do you think of the economic situation over the last six months?”, “Do you trust politicians?”: the questions fielded by the professional “sociologist” Alina Azarova to passers-by are profoundly irritating given that the answers are self-evident. “A people are dying,” resumes one interviewee, who gets the reply “Thanks. Have a good day!” Like a veritable Chronicle of a Summer in the Eastern Europe of the 2010s, Et le bal continue inquires into individual happiness, or rather into the misfortune of all. After a Lubitsch-like prologue where millionaires waltz amidst canapés. Balabanov shows us a comical but equally disquieting slice of Bulgarian society, typically Mitteleuropa. From the weightlifter-become-nationalist MP to the gay Roma star of song, the portraits dovetail elegantly but this medley points up a deep economic, political and even spiritual malaise. As one elderly activist says, “the situation requires a revolution”… which is not forthcoming. Since the Soviet era, labels have changed but not the relationships of dominance. The scene where a dissident confronts the policeman who formerly persecuted him creates a troubling and stinging finale: these opponents of twenty years—the State “spy” and the political prisoner—with their differences of opinion forgotten and their incongruous friendship, personify in a nutshell the profound disorientation of the twenty-seventh member of the EU. (Charlotte Garson)