Uncle Tony (Antony Trayanov) created pivotal films in a tandem with the talented caricaturist Donio Donev, one of Bulgaria’s most prominent animation directors. Tony, unlike Donev, remained unknown to the public. Donev made a spectacular career and travelled worldwide while Tony wasn’t allowed to leave the country.
The industrious and ambitious Tony made all effort to break into directing films, essentially to make his own film. However, he was being continuously dismissed as an enemy of the state due to his bourgeois background. Forcefully turned working class, Tony embraced these values, making a fine job of everything his hands touched. He even braved working as a builder in a dangerous building site after being expelled from the State Cinema Studio for refusing to obey orders. Uncle Tony did not live to enjoy the limelight but his students working all over the world adore him for his help and support and also his bohemian bon vivant nature.
Surprisingly, or not, the film caused a huge controversy. It became a mirror for a post-Communist society that hasn’t fully acknowledged the role of the totalitarian Secret Service in recent history. This role that still puts pressure on modern daily life and so creates a complex political problem. Donio Donev, whom Uncle Tony worked alongside with, was an informer for the Secret Service and his dossier was uncovered back in 2003. The history works to unravel the threads of their careers while setting them in the context of historic state surveillance and control.
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