TÊTE BAISSÉE / FACE DOWN
Director: Kamen Kalev
Feature film | F / BG | 2015
104 min | Dolby 5.1
49th Hof International Film Festival
The film is based on a true story: Samy, a small-time criminal, earns his living by smuggling counterfeit money between France and Bulgaria. During the last delivery to Bulgaria, he gets caught by the police. Already imagining himself behind bars, he is offered a deal by the authorities. He doesn’t really have an alternative, so he accepts. He becomes an informer for the French police and infiltrates the Bulgarian mafia, whose specialty is prostitution and trafficking of young girls.
Things seems to work out well, as he quickly gains the Mafiosi’s trust. At the same time, he becomes very close with Elka, an underage Roma prostitute, who introduces him to the relevant circles. With time, Samy becomes well-integrated and turns into a ruthless pimp. But the dilemma between the two fronts, the police and the Mafia, tortures him. Although he likes Elka, he cannot save her. His emotional conflict leads him to the realization that he has already lost the most valuable thing in life: his own dignity.