#SXSW: “WOMEN DO CRY”
By Amanda Gilmore
When Sonja (Maria Bakalova) finds out she is HIV-positive she turns to her sister Lora (Ralitsa Stoyanova) and her family for support. Each member in her predominantly female family is struggling with their own issues in their modern Bulgarian society. However, when the stress of her diagnosis pushes Sonja to reject therapy and spiral her family rallies to help her.
Co-Directors and Writers Mina Mileva and Vesela Kazakova have created an unflinching, honest Feminist critique on modern Bulgarian society. Through the lens of one family, they are able to speak to the inherent misogyny and homophobia present in the characters’ culture.
The Filmmakers have their female characters set in a society that is fixed against them. The beauty of their interactions lay in how they push each other to fight back against their society’s political and social beliefs. The entire ensemble is captivating and has authentic chemistry. Stoyanova is a standout as construction worker Lora who is forced to provide for the household. Her magnetic chemistry with Bakalova makes for powerhouse scenes.
Mileva and Kazakova’s resolute vision in Women Do Cry creates scenes that are as distressing as they are necessary. When Sonja goes to a gynaecologist appointment, she informs the doctor of her diagnosis. He then refuses to help her and calls her a whore. Bakalova delivers a heartbreaking performance as Sonja struggles with her diagnosis. She takes her performance up a notch in the second act as Sonja’s stress pushes her into a state that worries her family.
Women Do Cry screens at SXSW:
Saturday, March 12 at 1:45 PM EST – Violet Crown Cinema 2
Saturday, March 12 at 2:15 PM EST – Violet Crown Cinema 4
Monday, March 14 at 3:00 PM EST – Alamo Lamar C
Friday, March 18 at 8:30 PM EST – Alamo Lamar C
Sunday, March 13 at 10:00 AM EST – Available for 28 hours