Sofia’s Last Ambulance

review sofias last ambulance

Sofia’s Last Ambulance opens with the camera advancing toward an open door. Men in work clothes stare through the fourth wall and step aside as the screen moves past them. It takes a second to realize that the steady camerawork is not there to be ignored, as is normally the case in a well-produced feature film; instead, the camera’s point of view is the premise of the whole movie. With lenses affixed to the titular ambulance, we roll ahead on four wheels — we see what the mechanical infrastructure sees. The film is all about infrastructure. In particular, it follows the bumpy circuits of a troika of EMS workers in Sofia, the capital of Bulgaria. It’s a formally dispassionate but loving portrait of three admirable people, tired to the bone, who over the course of two years go about their impossible task of tending to the sick and the injured with an equally broken emergency response system.

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SFIFF

Who knew the longest-running film festival in America is presented in San Francisco – shimmering gifts of spring opening at some of our best movie houses? Only fitting, since San Francisco has always been a filmmaker’s dream city. Every major festival except Cannes pivots on a driving force pushing from behind. Ironically the San Francisco International Film Festival attracts major support from the French government and its media arm TV5 Monde, along with the local annex of French banking titan BNP Paribas Group. The French love us, what can I say? We love them back. Fresh off a 2012 season that saw Sundance-acclaimed features make their debut here, SFIFF 2013 hints at a more understated outcome, but there are highlights:

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published: 04.17.2014
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published: 04.17.2014
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published: 04.16.2014
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published: 04.16.2014
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