Released: February 16
Cast: Meinhard Neumann, Reinhardt Wetrek, Syuleyman Alilov Letifov, Veneta Frangova
Director: Valeska Grisebach (Longing)
Why it’s great: You will not find cowboys, Indians, bandits, heroes, scuffles, shootouts, or 10-gallon hats in this bluntly titled drama, yet the pillars of the Old West prop up the somber journey of man caught between two pastoral worlds. Meinhard (Meinhard Neumann), a weathered man-for-hire, bridges the gap between his people, a group of xenophobic German construction workers building a hydroelectric plant along a Bulgarian river, and the locals that regard them as intruders thanks to years of lingering, post-war animosity. With a clear sense of the genre, Grisebach finds her John Ford backdrops in the dawn-lit hills of Bulgaria, her Clint Eastwood in the crags of Meinhard's stoic face, a classic conflict in territorial brutality, and horse riding in... horse riding. Yes, Western is a Western, but Grisebach's Euro lens strips down the fanfare to tell a raw story about the common man.
Where to see it right now: In theaters (watch the trailer)