Sofia's Last Ambulance

Sofia's Last Ambulance

DVD Rating: ****

Reviewed by: Amber Wilkinson

Read Michael Pattison's film review of Sofia's Last Ambulance

It's always good - if unusual - to see strong extras on a documentary release that don't just amount to additional unseen footage from the film. This release from Second Run DVD doesn't disappoint.

Before you get to the disc itself, there is an informative 12-page booklet, featuring considerations from the film by editor Betina Ip - nicely illustrated by photos to help her draw comparisons between the film she feels resemble paintings - and a brief interview transcript of an interview with director Ilian Metev that was taken at the 2012 Cannes Film Festival.

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The DVD, meanwhile, features Metev's engaging and warm short film Goleshovo (well worth watching in its own right) as well as a longer interview with Metev, which features his sound recordist Tom Kirk asking the questions. This turns out to be a great idea, as Kirk is able to as the standard questions you'd expect from this sort of interview, but also to expand out, offering his own observations on what it was like to shoot the film and probing Metev about some of the technical difficulties. They cover ground from the inspiration of the film - the experience of Metev's grandma when she broke her leg - to the decision to only film the paramedics ("It felt morally wrong to film the patients") and the mechanics of doing so.

The end result is thoughtful, relaxed and engaging. The film, presented from a new HD digital transfer with restored picture and sound, also looks surprisingly good for a documentary of this sort.

Reviewed on: 14 Oct 2014
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Sofia, the capital city of Bulgaria, has more than two million inhabitants and only 13 ambulances... this documentary follows one of them.
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Product Code: DVD091

Region: 0

Ratio: 1.85:1/16.9 anamorphic

Sound: Stereo 2.0 (restored)

Extras: Booklet, in conversation interview between Tom Kirk and Ilian Metev, short film Goleshovo

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