Reviewed by: Jennie Kermode

Two young people in love. A disapproving father. The fall of the Berlin wall. Tilt, a huge hit in its native Bulgaria, tries to tell a big story by way of a small one, to explore changing relationships between nations through the relationship of its protagonists. In so doing, it has all the appeal you'd expect from a lesson on late 20th century Bulgarian history.

The real problem with this film is that it feels like a lesson. Events that might still feel exciting to Bulgarians of a certain age because of the freedoms that followed them have a lot less resonance elsewhere and are depicted here in a distant way that gives viewers no emotional hook through which to connect with the story. The young leads - petty criminal Stash (Yavor Baharov) and leather-jacketed rich girl rebel Becky (Radina Kardjilova) never have the chance to make much of an impression, laboured with weak dialogue and a plodding story.

This is a film that relies on certain things being shocking or funny when, to Western audiences, they just look old fashioned. There are moments of humour that do translate but they are few and far between. Ovanes Torosian turns in a decent performance as one of Stash's best friends, the only one with an emotional character arc. Most of the characters are formulaic, as are the occasional scenes of violence, not nearly as distressing as they ought to be.

Tilt is effective in portraying Bulgaria itself through this turbulent period, but not in a way that makes it an interesting place to spend time. As such, this is strictly one for those with nostalgic feelings about the events it portrays. You had to be there.

Reviewed on: 02 Feb 2012
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Tilt is a love story set against the backdrop of the changing political and social environment in Europe in the late 80s and early 90s. Can this love survive the challenges of emigration, a violent homeland and an immoral social atmosphere?
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Director: Viktor Chouchkov Jr

Writer: Viktor Chouchkov Jr, Borislav Chouchkov

Starring: Yavor Baharov, Radina Kardzhilova, Georgi Staikov

Year: 2011

Runtime: 97 minutes

Country: Bulgaria

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