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Time of violence. Forced Religious Beliefs … One more time in history.


TIME OF VIOLENCE [Film], and its extraordinary REVIEWS, until 03.22.15
[Време на насилие]
1988 /  Bulgaria
288 min.
Ludmil Staikov
Iossif Surchadzhiev, Rousy Chanev, Ivan Krystev, Anya Pencheva, Valter Toski, Vassil Mihajlov, Kalina Stefanova, Max Freeman
Georgi Danailov, Mihail Kirkov, Radoslav Spassov        (Novela: Anton Donchev)
Georgi Genkov
Radoslav Spassov
Boyana Film
Drama | Histórico. Siglo XVII. Religión
En el siglo XVII, una región búlgara cristiana es elegida por los gobernantes otomanos para servir de ejemplo para la conversión al Islam. Un jenízaro que fue secuestrado de pequeño es enviado para obligar a los reacios a la conversión. El gobernador turco trata de buscar una solución pacífica, pero a la larga estallan la violencia, la tortura y la rebelión. La versión íntegra búlgara consta de 288 minutos divididos en dos episodios. (FILMAFFINITY)

Is a 1988 Bulgarian film based on the novel Vreme razdelno (Време разделно, “Time of Parting”) of Anton Donchev . It consists of two episodes with a combined length of 288 minutes. It was screened in the Un Certain Regard section at the 1988 Cannes Film Festival.


Production and release of Time of Violence had been concurrent with the Revival Process. The story is set in contemporary Smolyan Okrug, a region of substantial Bulgarian Muslim population, underlining the official stance that Muslims in Bulgaria are ethnic Bulgarians forcefully converted to Islam, regardless of their self-designation.


Ottoman Empire, 1668. Köprülü Fazıl Ahmed Pasha concentrates his war efforts on the Cretan War, which inspires him to further subdue the Sultan’s Christian subjects. One of the targets is Elindenya, a village located in a Rhodope valley where the Christians enjoy a de facto autonomy thanks to the local Muslim overlord Süleyman Agha’s rule. A sipahi regiment is dispatched to the valley with the mission of converting the Christian population to Islam, by force if necessary. The extraordinary thing is that the regiment is led by Kara Ibrahim, a devshirme from Elindenya and although Süleyman Agha, feeling that his self-ordained rule shall be at stake, objects to forced conversions, Kara Ibrahim seems to be in favour of harsh measures against the locals, including his own family.
Time of Violence (1988)

Have we learned something from history?
10/10 | chernorizec | 6 Feb 2004

This, shown also in Cannes (Un certain regard), film is about personal and group tragedy. It perplexes and unfolds, complicates and simplifies the main character’s contradictory points of view.
It is a very intensive story about important historical events happened 3 centuries ago and barely known to people today. It also reveals forgotten personal values in modern life like honor, self-conscious, independence, deep love.
It is an epic film showing beautiful feelings weaved into a political and religious drama.
It is time of violence. Time of blood and vengeance. Time when life doesn’t matter but only the last thing left: People’s faith.

Bulgarian strugle for freedom
10/10 | msimkova | 5 Aug 2001

This seems to be follow up to Kozi rog another bulgarian movie with similar and painfull theme trying to survive 500 years of Turk’s tyrany and save bulgarian identity.
Since I am half Bulgarian I was deeply moved by this movie because I’m feeling that if there would not be Bulgarians like these in the movie then I would NOT exist.I also felt that actors who played in this amazing picture were not just acting.It is going to be very difficult to watch it for people who like easy going films beacause there is so much sadness and tragedy in it.This one doesn’t have happy ending but somehow it gave you some kind of satisfaction on the end I just can’t describe why. I am very sad that this movie is not more recognised in the world as it should be.I can not recall any other historical movie which could surpass this one,there is no any way.Beautifull sceneries,great actors,could not be done better.To me it is treasuare of world cinema and I don’t understand how it can be ignored by the world.This is another example how hollywood=money rules the world.Must see,highly recomended. I’m lucky I have it on video.
Powerful, true to the book
10/10 | Jiji-3 | 25 Dec 2003

The movie is very true to the book it’s based on, Vreme razdelno (Time of Division) by Anton Donchev, and the casting is near flawless. Very good soundtrack too. Highly recommended.
As to how representative it is of Bulgarian history, I beg to differ from the user who commented before me. The Rhodopa mountains (which is where the movie takes place) are, to this day, populated by Bulgarian “turks,” that is, Bulgarians converted to Islam in the 1500-1600 period. Some of them, when interviewed, relate stories (dating back to the period in question and carried across generations) that are very reminiscent of the picture painted by Vreme razdelno. It’s no coincidence (or accident) that the book claims to be based on the accounts of two people who witnessed the events described. Anton Donchev did his own bit of extensive research before setting out to write the book (as he usually does, he specializes in the history genre) – what he found out is reflected in the book, and hence the movie. Whether the accounts of those who suffered the conversion to Islam (as retold by their descendants) can be defined as harsh or “historically inaccurate” is obviously a question of perspective. However, the fact remains some of those accounts are what’s reflected in the book (and the movie). Claims that they are fiction are, to put it mildly, overblown.
The real true
10/10 | Kiril Zhegov | 12 Jun 2007

This is one of the most sad movies on all time. Unfortunately you have to be Bulgarian to understand how sad the movie is.
Or at least – you have to be keen in The Bolkans history and what the Bulgarian people have gone through. I am sorry to disappoint the writer of some of the comments about the movie – but in fact – it does show what exactly the Turkish army have done with the young bulgarians. Taking small children and making them a fanatic killers who are absolutely trust to the Turkish emperor has been done for over hundred of years. And the movie shows the whole pain and drama of the Bulgarian families who lost their children.

Remember the history!
10/10 | Slavianin | 1 Apr 2005
The best Bulgarian movie ever made-well,there is a lot of propaganda of course,but still the movie is excellent.Bulgarians must remember their history and origins.
The performance of Karaibrahim and the priest is very good and the soundtrack is not bad also.I have never seen a movie like this made in the neighbour countries of Yugoslavia,Romania or even Greece.I guess the communist regime injected a big amount of money in this project-everybody knows that at this time half a million ethnic Turkish Bulgarian citizens were forced to leave the country and the other part were repressed,names changed.Still it is a really emotional artwork!


Why you should see this movie
9/10 | krasjobul | 20 Jan 2006

What could i say about this magnificent movie? This is the story about courage people, who live between the Orient and the West Europe.
There is no place like that and if you see this movie you will understand that. In the end of 14th century the Bulgarians lost their independence. The conquerors are Osman Turks. Their device is ” Burn, kill and destroy “! Before them the Bulgarians have the strongest and most powerful country on the Balkans and in all East Europe. Their culture is advanced, they have the first alphabet among the Slavs. Now a lot of the Slavs have their Cyrillic alphabet- Serbs,Rusians,Ukranians,Belarusians,Macedonians( that belong to the Bulgarian ethnic group )and else.They defend bravely and selflessly their territories but finally lost the war.The Bulgarians are orthodox Christians but the Turks are Muslims.Important part of the aggressor’s politics is to convert Bulgarians to Mohamme-denims,because only thereby they could become the slaves of Turk’s empire. So,this will be the the biggest hardship for this breve and selfless Balkan people. Shell they survive and defend their culture and lives you will understand only if you see the movie. Believe me, this movie will crush you down!Do not miss it!
An exceptional film
10/10 | Richard-714 (Richard@rvr.com) | 20 Feb 2010

I attended the North American premiere of this film at the Seattle International Film Festival in 1989. It remains 20 years later as one of my fondest cinematic experiences.
This is film making at its best. An epic with intensely drawn characters and exceptionally memorable scenes. Essentially, the Bulgarian Lawrence of Arabia and a film worthy of comparison to Lean’s masterpiece.
Many of the comments about this film are from Bulgarians, and I cannot personalize the film in the same manner that they have done so. To me, as an American, the film explored the issue of why Christianity and Islam were in inherent conflict when they are in many respects similar. When I saw the film in 1989 this was purely an interesting intellectual question. After 9/11 the film has taken on a whole new dimension for me. Clearly with 9/11, the wars that have followed and the wave of Islamic terrorism across the globe, the issue remains well worth exploring.
If anyone out there can tell me how to get a copy of the film, please email me.


Very, very good historical classic
9/10 | asterisk | 7 Mar 2011

As a Serb, I always wonder why my country never made any movie about islamisation of Balkans through 14-20 century. Then I stumble on this Bulgarian epic.
For anyone who want to explore darkest moments from history of Bulgarians, Serbs, Greeks, Armenians, Assyrians & other nonmuslim nations under Turkish government, this is a must see film. But the best thing in this movie is solution which he offers. You begin to understand it in last quarter of movie when things begins to unravel. And at least for me, priest in this movie is one of the best clerics I ever watch. I strongly recommend it to everyone except to those stubborn (crypto)jihadist, who may get sick from it (which can be actually good reason for them to watch), and who think that Turkish occupation is second best thing in world history.
The hidden suffer of one whole nation
10/10 | petya_1984 | 10 Nov 2005

This movie represents the historical reality in the Bulgarian’s life during the five century slavery of the Ottoman empire.
Probably in the most historical textbooks you won’t find the poor reality and the suffering of the people, only facts, which can’t describe the real life of the Bulgarians. xxx SPOILERS xxx The movie represents the history of one village in the Rodopi mountains. The population is forced to change it’s religion – from Christianity to Islam. All the events are based on the real stories, collected by the author from the people living nowadays in these mountains. If you are interested in the history events, probably this movie will be very interesting for you. It’s a masterpiece based on TRUE facts, not an imaginary story. Warning: the movie contains a lot scenes of violence and it’s not recommended to be seen of children.
A true classic
10/10 | Nikolay Ivanov | 14 Feb 2009

The movie is indeed one of the biggest Bulgarian classics. As they say, if you’re Bulgarian, you must have watched it. And if your heart doesn’t tremble when you watch it, you’re not a Bulgarian.
On the other hand, I like very much one quote from one of its resumes: “The film is painted on a large, sweeping canvas, with many characters and subplots, all cleverly woven into a single story. And, surprisingly, this isn’t a “vile Turk” story. Director Ludmil Staikov has much more ambitious goals, including an examination of the power of religion and of the destructiveness of violence and fanaticism. Not all of the Christians are good, nor all of the Muslims bad.” And I agree with this, the movie is not black and white – neither in real colour, nor in character’s colour. Even the “most evil characters” have their inner struggles and their reasons, while even the “nicest characters” have their flaws and weaknesses. Like all human beings…
So, the script is great, the acting is great, the music is touching, the scenery is magnificent – no wonder this is one of the very few Bulgarian movies (if not the only one), which have foreign subtitles in its DVD set.
P.S. Indeed, the movie is definitely not for minors, not only because of the scenes of violence, but also because they would hardly understand its true meaning.
One of the Golden Bulgarian Movies!
Grozdan Grozev | 27 Jan 2007

This movie explains the story of the people that lived in the region of Rodopi mountains in Bulgaria during the 17-th century. This is a region in south-central contemporary Bulgaria.
All the facts presented in the movie are true, I don’t mean now the small details but the general idea – What used to happen during the period, that the movie describes. I read somewhere a comment for the movie, sounding like this: “The movie is interesting, but the happenings are not real.” Well I will give you one incontestable fact in favor of the main line of the movie: Bulgaria falls finally under the Otoman conquerors in 1396 and gains its independence in 1878. The population before the first date is only consisted of orthodox Christians. Now in contemporary Bulgaria, besides the ethnic Turks also known as Bulgarian Turks, there is a specific group of people that speak Bulgarian language as their native language but their fate is Islam. These people are mainly located in the Rodopi mountains, where the story of the movie goes. History of the Balkans is full of blood and violence. We can live now in peace and on good terms, but this doesn’t mean to strike the history out, because we all should know where we come from.
Disagree with the previous comment
10/10 | silvia_orc | 3 Mar 2008

Totally disagree that the movie is not representing a true story. Even a slight research about the topic can give the same answers, only not so well described.
And sure a Turk would say it wasn’t true but…don’t forget the movie is about Ottoman Empire, not Turkey, don’t kill the work of Ataturk who struggled so much to bring Turkey back to the modern life and far from EXACTLY this. Whether it was successful or not is not a subject of the movie. The movie is historical and is showing the events of that time. Apart from the truth in the topic, the movie is a legend in the Bulgarian movie industry, the book is even more touching! Recommending the movie to everyone just know that after watching it, you would probably feel very strange and wondering how such things were allowed to happen. The actors’ play in excellent too.
Very good movie
10/10 | Ivan Petrov | 6 May 2008

This is the best Bulgarian movie ever. You must watch it. Incredible movie . . . Whether when watching this movie it does not flicker Something in the center means your… You are being called Bulgarian. One of the spot of the movies that cart me away I to be blue for 2 days so.
When looking at it you understand how we are great nation The Bulgarians. The brother-5 eyelids are not themselves … and now will not surrender. Let us lower heads when redheads mistake Our history,, and we to stand proudly up to the torturers as well to show that we are the Bulgarians to them A park.
Plus ça change…
10/10 | jean-vincent | 11 Mar 2015

I bought the film recently and visioned it yesterday. I was deeply impressed, sad and angry at the same time. The unbelievable cruelty of it all.
One has not to be Bulgarian to realize all the horror of the situation, to feel the helplessness, sadness and hopelessness of the people attacked. It doesn’t remind me of anything, except.. fear. The fear that is being instilled to all of us by ISIS…in Syria. Obviously the system of the people of Allah hasn’t changed in centuries.Taking young boys and use them as executors, making little monsters of them. It happens to-day. Cruelty all over, no mercy for anyone who doesn’t adhere to their view of religion. The shouts of Allahou Akbar are heard again in our time.”L’Histoire se répète” it is obvious. Never has any film been so actual in 2015. The film is grand, magnificent if not so horrible a topic and so prophetic of what I hope may stop some day and never visit any of us. The film is at the same time “History” and “Actuality”. Fearfull.
Wrong picture of the history
4/10 | feradz | 3 Sep 2003

Well done movie but it does not reach its objectives to represent the historical facts in Bulgarian lands during Ottomans’ influence.
I am a Turk from Bulgaria and lightly investigated the details about Ottomans government in Bulgarian lands. Definitely facts are not as they appear in this movie, at all. I do not recommend to relay on this movie as a source of historical information.



abril 1, 2015 Posted by | Creencias forzadas | 1 comentario