Documentary that has attracted outrage in its home country for revealing the power-play and intrigue underlying Bulgaria’s animation history.
“Uncle Tony, Three Fools and the Secret Service” is a feature documentary debut for Mina Mileva“ and Vesela Kazakova,“ made without state funding for production and which dares to scratch the surface of decades of Bulgarian politics determined by the State Secret Service through the unusual topic of animated films.
Uncle Tony (Antony Trayanov) created pivotal films in a tandem with the talented caricaturist Donio Donev – one of Bulgaria’s most prominent animation directors – that turned history in 1970’s, but Tony’s name remained unknown to the public. Donev made a spectacular career and travelled worldwide while Tony wasn’t allowed to leave the country.
The industrious and ambitious Tony made all effort to break into directing films, essentially to make his own film. But he was being continuously dismissed as an enemy of the state due to his bourgeois background. Forcefully turned working class, Tony embraced these values, making a fine job of everything his hands touched. He even braved working as a builder in a dangerous building site after being expelled from the State Cinema Studio for refusing to obey orders.
Uncle Tony did not live to enjoy the limelight but his students working all over the world adore him for his help and support and also his bohemian bon vivant nature.
Country of origin: Bulgaria
Directed by: Mina Mileva and Vesela Kazakova
Duration: 1 hour 26 minutes
This strong though imperfect documentary has inspired major controversy in its native Bulgaria. – Variety