Batko becomes a secret-police informant. He performs his duties with great zeal, and yet he is unduly dismissed. His ego is badly hurt. His experience with clandestine work makes him realize a simple fact - the system of the political police is flawed by nature. Secrecy is both, its power and weakness. The system depends on the presumed authenticity of the agents and recruitment of informants based on fear. The operations of the secret police could be imitated by rogue individuals posing as agents. Batko creates a phantom secret-police department - a backdoor in the matrix of political control. He becomes the spider in his own web of informants by recruiting a group of intellectuals to spy on each other. He builds his own secret archive. After the fall of communism, Batko uses it to wreak havoc on the government. This is a dark political comedy. The provocations that spur the plot forward in a slew of hilarious, yet diabolical absurdities come from the workings of the mind of a psychopathic schemer.

Director's Statement

A maniacal informant creates his own phantom secret-police department. The movie offers a paradoxical twist in the standard representation of totalitarianism as a society of victims and victimizers. This is a story without innocents. Secret policing reveals its dark nature not only in its nauseating cruelties, but most suggestively in its deviant pleasures.

Cast & Crew

Directed by: Emil Christov

Written by: Vladislav Todorov

Produced by: Vladislav Todorov, Bouriana Zakharieva

Cinematography: Krum Rodriguez

Editing: Alexander Etimov

Production Design: Prolet Spasova

Costume Design: Armaveni Stoyanova

Original Score: Nikolay Madzharov

Sound: Svetlosar Georgiev

Actor: Svetlana Yancheva, Ruscen Vidinliev, Irena Milyankova, Rousy Chanev, Deyan Donkov

Nominations and Awards

  • Feature Film Selection 2013