Marriage is important even in the countryside, especially among young people who often appear untouched in front of the altar. The situation is different in the big cities, but also in the famous Golden Sands, where sex tourism and prostitution flourish.
This is where 19-year-old transgender and sex worker Mia lives. Sunny Beach is very lucrative especially in the summer months due to the tourists. Ever since she was let down by a man, she only had sex for money.
Life in the secluded Rhodope Mountains is quite different from the bustling seaside resorts of the Golden Sands. The Pomaks, a Muslim minority, live in the small village of Ribnovo. Those who marry here, like Sadak and Atidzhe, experience a festival that lasts for several days with strictly defined rituals.
Roma also form their own community within Bulgaria. They are still trying to establish an ideal bond at the traditional bridal markets. The only 17-year-old Nasko sets off with his father Georgi to Vrubnitca, supposedly for Djumbush. Will he find the woman there for life?
provocation and freedom
Bulgaria’s most famous Roma is the internationally famous singer “Azis”. It inspires millions of fans with its mix of pop and folklore. Azis is openly gay and plays with gender and role models. He offends and provokes conservative Bulgarian society. Azis also creates greater acceptance for love beyond traditional norms.
This also benefits Ilian, who, after a tough time at school in the country, can now practice his homosexuality more freely in the capital. Now preparing for a drag race, the best performance and the most flamboyant outfit of a drag queen will be rewarded. But for Ilian, the competition is fierce. Will he be able to win with his “African Benediction” character?
How do we want to love? The craving for happiness is universal, but the ways to get there are painful and poignant, surprising and strange.