The World Is Big and Salvation Lurks Around the Corner

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The World is Big and Salvation Lurks Around the Corner
Theworldisbig poster.jpg
Directed by Stefan Komandarev
Produced by Stefan Kitanov
Karl Baumgartner
Thanassis Karathanos
András Muhi
Danijel Hočevar
Written by Ilija Trojanow
Yuriy Dachev
Stefan Komandarev
Dušan Milić
Starring Miki Manojlović
Carlo Ljubek
Hristo Mutafchiev
Ana Papadopulu
Music by Stefan Valdobrev
Cinematography Emil Hristow
Edited by Nina Altaparmakova
Release date
March 14, 2008[1]
(SIFF premiere)
October 10, 2008[2]
(worldwide release)
Running time
145 min.
Country Bulgaria
Language Bulgarian

The World is Big and Salvation Lurks Around the Corner is a 2008 Bulgarian drama film, co-produced with Slovenia, Germany and Hungary. Its original Bulgarian title is Светът е голям и спасение дебне отвсякъде (transliterated as Svetat e golyam i spasenie debne otvsyakade), literally meaning The World is Big and Salvation Prowls on All Sides. (correct - "... is Lurking from Everywhere.")

The film is directed by Stefan Komandarev and stars Miki Manojlović, Carlo Ljubek, Hristo Mutafchiev and Ana Papadopulu. It is based on the eponymous autobiographic novel by Bulgarian-German writer Ilija Trojanow.

The film has received generally favorable reviews from film critics and audiences around the world, having received more than 20 festival awards.[3] On January 20, 2010 it was revealed that the film had been selected among the nine films that will advance to the next round of voting in the Foreign Language Film category for the 82nd Academy Awards.[4]


In a small Bulgarian provincial town during the 1980s, factory worker Vasil 'Vasko' Georgiev (Hristo Mutafchiev) has problems with the local Communist Party agent (Nikolai Urumov) who wants Vasko to monitor and report on the activities of his father-in-law, Bai Dan (Miki Manojlović). Bai Dan is the local "King of Backgammon" and is accused by the local authorities of conducting an illegal workshop in which he repairs bicycles and manufactures backgammon sets. Facing a moral dilemma, Vasko decides to emigrate beyond the Iron Curtain to Western Europe with his wife Yana (Ana Papadopulu) and his son Aleksander 'Sashko' (played as a child by Blagovest Mutafchiev). The family succeeds in crossing the border to Italy but face the prospect of lengthy detention in a bleak refugee camp until Vasko is able to pay for them to be smuggled into Germany.

The opening sequences jump abruptly from the birth of Sashko to the 2007 autobahn car accident in which his parents are killed on their way back to Bulgaria for the first time since their emigration. Sashko (played as an adult by Carlo Ljubek) is taken to a hospital with amnesia. His grandfather Bai Dan decides to go to Germany and try to help Sashko restore his past. He starts teaching him to play backgammon. After refusing to play, Sashko is forced by his grandfather to leave the hospital and to start a journey with him on a tandem bicycle—a journey back to Bulgaria, to Sashko's past, and to romance and prospects of a happier future.


Actor Role
Miki Manojlović Bai Dan
Carlo Ljubek Aleksander 'Sashko' Georgiev
Hristo Mutafchiev Vasil 'Vasko' Georgiev
Ana Papadopulu Yana Georgieva
Lyudmila Cheshmedzhieva Baba Sladka
Nikolai Urumov Agent
Vasil Vasilev-Zueka Ivo Chikagoto
Dorka Gryllus Maria
Heinz Josef Braun Dr. Schreiber
Stefan Valdobrev Stoyan


The film has received more than 20 awards at festivals around the world:[3]




  1. ^ "Триумфална премиера на "Светът е голям и спасение дебне отвсякъде (Triumphant premiere of The World is Big and Salvation Lurks around the Corner)". Retrieved 2010-02-01. 
  2. ^ "The World is Big and Salvation Lurks around the Corner". Retrieved 2010-02-01. 
  3. ^ a b "Festivals and awards". The World is Big and Salvation Lurks around the Corner Official Website. Retrieved 2010-02-01. 
  4. ^ "9 Foreign Language Films Advance in Oscar Race". Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Retrieved 2010-02-01. 

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