Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
Director: Konstantin Bojanov
The story of six Bulgarian youths as they experience extreme highs and turbulent lows, dreams and suicidal evils of heroin addiction. Invisible will throw you into the intimate veracity and shocking obsession influenced ... more »
A Powerful New Dimension in Documentaries: The Director is a
Grady Harp | Los Angeles, CA United States | 01/10/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Konstantin Bojanov is a fearless, sensitive, respectful observer of the young people of Sofia, Bulgaria whose lives are focused on drugs. Three years in the making (2000 - 2003) this unique documentary was possible only because of the dedication of Bojanov who sought to depict from the addicts' vantage a problem that encircles the globe. Having used some drugs himself Bojanov approached six Bulgarian drug users as a friend and instead of exploiting their lives, he steps aside (or beside) and lets the six young people (ages 17 - 39) talk to the camera about their perceptions, delusions, reasons for using drugs, the highs and lows of drug use, the types of drugs they use and how they obtain them, and most important - their personal philosophies of how they view life and humanity and their place in it.
The characters (these are not actors) are addressed only by their first names: Diana, Kamen, Remi, Sasho, Stani and Vicki. They are filmed as they mix their heroin with citric acid ('lemon') to put it into solution as it heats, how they use syringes, sharing with their best friends, how they survive finding veins that will accept the dirty needles, and then the effects of the drug once in their blood stream. At this point they stare into space with the glazed look of the junkie and share their fears, their concerns, their need for heroin, their thoughts of suicide and the response of those who have tried it and succeeded or failed.
One aspect of the film is the discussion about prescription drugs widely used by these addicts in addition to heroin, drugs such as Parvikan (an anti-Parkinsonian drug not available in the US), and drugs that are primarily belladonna, barbiturates, and opiates. Over the three years of the shoot we get to know some of the users well, as they change physically, as they survive in the shadows of deserted buildings and under bridges, and how their friendships endure: they are the Invisible ones, the representation of an illness we would rather not address. All of this is filmed without the words of an interrogator: Bojanov simply allows us to overhear the tragic lives these people endure, without preaching, judging, or sensationalizing.
An added feature on the DVD is an extended 20-minute interview with the Director and it is from this interview that much of the film is explained in terms we can understand. Bojanov is an artistic humanitarian and he has created one of the more realistic and informative explorations of drug abuse ever filmed. It is a fine achievement. Grady Harp, January 07