Updated: Jun 23, 2019
Directed by: Dimitar Stoyanov
Written by: #DimitarStoyanov
An eclectic filmmaking mix from writer and director Dimitar Stoyanov, with his tongue in cheek short film Miracle.
A biting of the thumb to the current state of Britain and its attitudes towards immigrants, this is a story of contrast told to highlight the bafflingly flawed ideals of a so-called "civilised" society.
Aislinn De'Ath plays Margaret, a pianist whose sophisticated and charmed lifestyle is rudely invaded when a visa-less migrant (Shatrovski) arrives to perform some home repairs. Not only are the man's credentials in question, he has the gall to down her alcohol and die on the kitchen floor. Going through a routine of shock, shame, and dancing with the corpse, Margaret attempts to grapple with her inner liberalism which is at odds with her dislike of immigrants.
I probably should have mentioned this film is a dark comedy!
Stoyanov is deliberately twanging at tense political strings and themes to tell this story of a clash of cultures. The way in which Margaret makes desperate pleas to inanimate objects (one of which is a unicorn statue) that it's not her fault, perhaps reflects a wider sense of guilt felt by many Britons about the rise of xenophobic rhetoric from worryingly large portions of our people and politicians.
There are small moments in the script where the central character reveals her sharper edge towards immigrants, such as her reaction to the man asking for beer when she offered tea or coffee, or when she discovers his rejected visa. The venom in her voice when she says "It's not my fault" is undeniable. This diluted intolerance is the crux of short film Miracle and something which becomes the true villainy of the movie.
De'Ath gives a worthy turn in the lead role, balancing the extremes of Margaret's nature without succumbing to cartoonish theatrics. The bizarre sequences where she dances with the body are particularly well acted, injecting some much needed love into a story dominated by bleak and archaic schools of thought. Shatrovski is also superb with his physical performance, lending the short film a great depth in terms of humour and harking back to classic silent comedy techniques.
Cinematically, Miracle is a short film flooded with talent.
The jaunty harpsichord and piano from Radosveta Harkova was...ahem... instrumental in depicting the juxtaposing ideals of British civilisation with its own intolerance. And the cinematography from Barbara van Schaik was masterfully handled, utilising darker scenes and lighting to capture the nightmarish tone of the story.
More #filmmakers like Dimitar Stoyanov are (regrettably) needed to keep telling these stories in such a compelling and entertaining way. If we can undermine the hate-filled opinions and beliefs of our own countrymen and women by ridiculing them, then full steam ahead. It's what Shakespeare would have wanted.
Watch the official movie trailer for short film Miracle below.