For the fist time I am at a loss, I know absolutely nothing about Bulgarian cinema. I have no frame of knowledge for this stuff. I know a lot about noir so why not try Bulgarian neo-noir. This is an American film style, but it has translated to the French and the Asian countries very well. It is one of my favorite film genres. The look style and characterizations all make this film style one of my favorite. This film works very well within the genre guidelines.
Now time for another synopsis!!!!
Zift is the story of a man nicknamed Moth, no real name is ever mentioned. Right now Moth is a detainee in a prison. It’s the 1960s which in Bulgaria meant its a Communist regime, Moth was in prison before that establishment came to rule, but that’s beside the point for now. What matters is that he’s getting released today and he’s all too keen about getting as far away as possible, but not before paying last respect to some prison guard he hated (by punching him in the face). As a result, Moth gets the crap kicked out of him,. Guards throw him out of the prison, then he is abducted and taken to a rundown bathhouse and they start torturing him. Apparently they are looking for something. This has about the first 15 minutes of runtime taken care of because then the film gets really crazy.
Moth’s most prized possession is a peace of zift (defined as sh*t or asphalt) the he smells and chews constantly. Moth is constantly reminded that he lives in a world of crap, and the piece of zift is an excellent reminder to the viewer. It is used as a fantastic device/McGuffin. While it doesn’t lend itself the mystery to the
suitcase from pulp fiction, it is still a fun device to see it in use and how it is plays out in the story. There is a fantastic sequence where it leads Moth around the bath house and this plays almost like a Buster Keaton moment.
The black and white contrast is not muted or blurred so the visuals are striking. The design was good, but they used some the CG to fill in the background, which detracts from the film and makes it look kind of crappy.
The noir conventions all played out very well. The femme fetal seemed under used. The entire film felt very pulpy and you could tell the director was big on paying homage to the great neo-noir films.
The film lacks any special features so I could not review them
Overall I felt it was a good watch although it is not for every viewer. This one is for any genre enthusiast.
Zift (Sub) is available for purchase on Amazon.com and at retailers of foreign DVDs.
Ratings are based on a 5-star scale
Overall: 3 balls of zift out of 5
Review by Bro’ B – Ben