There are only 13 ambulances in operation in the entire city of Sofia, the capital of Bulgaria. One of them is manned by the chain-smoking team of Krassi, Mila and Plamen. We accompany them and their driver as they work their shift. All too often, and to their great frustration, events rush ahead of them. Director Ilian Metev's camerawork and point-of-view technique manage to avoid any suggestion of sensationalized "reality drama." He constantly points the camera directly at the faces of the three protagonists, whether they are waiting in the ambulance for a call or speeding to an accident in a vehicle with poor suspension - on an even poorer road surface. On arrival, the people in need of help never appear on-screen, but the sounds we hear indicate the gravity of the situation. The tension comes less from the ambulance team's actual tasks than their conversations in the bus - conversations about the pressure of work and life in general. Although they often sound concerned, there are also moments of irony and good humor. Despite the high stress level, it's clear how accustomed they are to working together. But how long can you keep on saving lives and staying human, when you're being crushed by the pressure of your job?
Siniša Juričić for Nukleus Film, Ingmar Trost for Sutor Kolonko, Dimiter Gotchev for SIA
Lora Chenakova, Dan Cogan, Lisa Chanoff
Betina Ip, Ilian Metev