On a Small Island

General Information

Original Title
Na malkiia ostrov
Valchanov, Rangel, director.
Bulgaria : Studio for Feature Films, 1957.
Physical Description
DVD-ROM (90 min.)


Forty- three political prisoners have been exiled to a small island after an uprising in 1923. They are making ready for their escape. As they overcome mutual suspicion, their personal escape turns into an organized rebellion. The film is a bitter parable about the slow maturing of the idea of freedom - both collective and personal. The characters` deaths are absurd, with no pathos. The different and romantic Student is the first to die. The colorful freedom-loving sailor Costa Rica and the spirited and clever Zheko follow him. The restrained, sensitive Doctor, who has been against the attempt of the four and in favor of a collective escape, dies last. This film broke with the conventions of the Moscow film school to explore the possibilities of a poetic film language, much of which surpassed the discoveries of the later ‘new wave’. The theme was novel primarily in its romantically individualized approach to the characters, who were seen from many viewpoints, including an ironical one. The camera explores the “rawness of reality” leaving the “artificiality of the studio” for the first time. (Liehm & Liehm, "The most important art"). The film marks the beginning of the collaboration between Rangel Valchanov and Vallery Petrov, a prominent Bulgarian literary and screenwriter.


Fiction films

Bibliographic Information

Title Translation
On a Small Island
Duration: 01:30:00


Item Type Current Location Collection Call Number Volume Info Shelving Location Public Note
DVD-ROMOSA Film LibraryOSA Film LibraryFL Record 0709---