Palace for the People

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Bulgaria | 2018 | 90 minutes | Georgi Bogdanov, Boris Missirkov

This one’s for the architecture buffs: a fascinating and delightful look at the histories, hidden secrets, and current occupants of five monumental Communist state buildings, all built during the height of the Communist era.

Sunday, May 26, 2019

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Shoreline Community College

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Wednesday, May 29, 2019

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Architectural styles can reveal hidden truths about the civilizations that supported them—even after those civilizations came crashing down in the blink of an eye. Thirty years after the astonishing fall of Communism across Eastern Europe in 1989, five iconic buildings dedicated to socialist triumph remain in the capitals of these transformed countries: the National Palace of Culture in Sofia, Moscow State University, the Palace of the Parliament in Bucharest, the Palace of Serbia in Belgrade, and the Palace of the Republic in Berlin. In a culture that had officially outlawed religion, these imposing structures were like secular cathedrals for the collective good of mankind but ended up symbolizing state repression. These magnificent palaces, however, are not just static museums for a bygone era. As this documentary from Bulgarian filmmakers Boris Missirkov and Georgi Bogdanov reveals through interviews with current residents, architects, and others who worked inside their walls, the buildings reflect the way each country has coped with the wrenching changes after Communism. Some governments have kept the buildings pristine, while others have made them newly relevant under their current capitalist caretakers. Using soaring aerial photography, Palace For The People unlocks the secrets of these enduring symbols of 20th-century socialism as they each take their own paths to a more independent future.

Director Biography
As a graduate of the National Academy for Theatre and Film Arts, Sofia native Boris Missirkov has gained international recognition as a cinematographer, director, visual artist, and photographer, presenting his work at solo shows and contemporary art exhibitions across Europe and the USA. In collaboration with creative partner Georgi Bogdanov, he has co-founded the Agitprop Production Company and Bulgarian Photographic Association, co-directed the shorts '94 Forever and I Am A Bulgarian, and co-produced (together with Martichka Bozhilova) the first Bulgarian omnibus film, 15. His cinematographic skill is displayed through Georgi And The Butterflies (Silver Wolf, IDFA–Amsterdam 2004), The Mosquito Problem And Other Stories (Cannes 2007, Grierson Award for Best Documentary), and Corridor #8 (Berlinale 2008 – The Forum, Independent Ecumenical Jury Award).

Born in Varna, Bulgaria, Georgi Bogdanov is an internationally acclaimed cinematographer, director, visual artist and photographer who has presented work in solo shows as well as major photography and contemporary art exhibitions in Europe and the USA. He often teams with his creative partner Georgi Bogdanov, with whom he has co-founded the Agitprop Production Company and Bulgarian Photographic Association, co-directed the shorts '94 Forever and I Am A Bulgarian, and co-produced (together with Martichka Bozhilova) the first Bulgarian omnibus film, 15. Their collaborative cinematography has resulted in critically acclaimed films such as Georgi And The Butterflies (Silver Wolf, IDFA–Amsterdam 2004), The Mosquito Problem And Other Stories (Cannes 2007, Grierson Award for Best Documentary), and Corridor #8 (Berlinale 2008–The Forum, Independent Ecumenical Jury Award).

Sponsored by Puget Systems

  • Original Language Title: Palaste fur das Volk
  • Director: Georgi Bogdanov, Boris Missirkov
  • Premiere Status: North American Premiere
  • Country: Bulgaria, Germany, Romania
  • Year: 2018
  • Running Time: 90 minutes
  • Producer: Martichka Bozhilova, Thomas Tielsch, Velvet Moraru
  • Screenplay: Boris Missirkov, Georgi Bogdanov
  • Cinematographers: Boris Missirkov, Georgi Bogdanov
  • Editors: Ema Konstantinova
  • Website: Official Film Website
  • Filmography: Debut Feature Film
  • Language: Russian, Serbian, Bulgarian, English, Romanian
  • Has Subtitles: Yes
  • Format: DCP
  • International Sales: Wide Management