Paradise Hotel (Hotel Rai)


Year: 2010
Run Time: 55 minutes

A giant prefab building in Yambol, Bulgaria was built by the Communist Party in 1978 as a daring social experiment. Intended to get the local Roma, or Gypsies, out of their ghettoes and integrated with other Bulgarians, Block 20 featured such luxuries as parquet floors and tiled bathrooms. Thirty years later, this Socialist paradise has transformed into what the Roma refer to fondly as their "Paradise Hotel." Decrepit, open to the elements, and uninhabitable by pretty much anybody's standards, the block is home to hundreds of people who need very little to be happy. Astonishingly cheerful and matter-of-fact about their lives, the Gypsies of Paradise Hotel take everything and everyone in stride. There are recyclers of plastic, pickers of okra, newlyweds, an albino, and a transvestite prostitute. Even those who mostly smoke and drink coffee are accepted for who they are. Is anybody to blame for their situation? PARADISE HOTEL is an affectionate yet sober view of European lives on the margins of society. (In Bulgarian with subtitles) –B.B.

CIFF35 Screenings

Friday, March 25, 2011 at 11:40 AM

Monday, March 28, 2011 at 5:00 PM

Sophia Tzavella

Martichka Bozhilova

Sophia Tzavella

Georgi Bogdanov, Boris Missirkov

Nina Altaparmakova

Director Bio
Sophia Tzavella has worked as an investigative reporter for Bulgarian National Television. She is a graduate of the National High School for Ancient Languages and Cultures in Bulgaria and holds a Master's degree in TV Journalism, Greek Philology, Balkan History, and Social Sciences from the Ionian University in Greece.

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