Monday, September 8, 2014

Israeli Actor Moni Moshonov Stars in Oscar-Bound Bulgarian Film

Moni Moshonov
The film Bulgarian Rhapsody, a Bulgarian-Israeli production directed by Ivan Nichev, was selected by  Bulgaria's National Council for Cinema to be its country's contender in the Best Foreign Language Film category of the Oscar Academy Awards. The film, detailing the rescue of Bulgaria's Jewish citizens during World War Two, stars Israeli actor Moni Moshonov

Moshonov, who was born in Sofia in 1951 and moved to Israel with his family at the age of four, is well known for his hosting of the popular satirical TV show Zehu Ze!, first on Israeli Educational Television and then on Channel 2. In addition to his many comic roles, Moshonov has appeared frequently on the stage in Cameri, Habima and Beit Lessin theatrical productions. His film roles include Hatuna Meuheret (Late Marriage, 2001), for which he won the Israeli Film Academy Award for best supporting actor.

Moshonov's role in Bulgarian Rhapsody is his first in a Bulgarian language film.

The film is the final part in director Nichev’s trilogy about the saving of Bulgarian Jews. The film tells the story of two adolescents, Moni and Zhozho, who both fall in love with 17-year-old Zheni in 1943. The events that follow unfold while Bulgaria has to decide on the deportation of 11,343 Jewish citizens in Macedonia and Thrace.

Moshonov plays Zheni's father in the film. Another Israeli actor in the production is Alex Ansky. The Bulgarian cast includes Dimitar Ratchkov, Tatyana Lolova, Kristiyan Makarov, Anjela Nedyalkova, and Stephan Popov.

The previous two films in Nichev's trilogy were After the End of the World (1999) and The Journey to Jerusalem (2003). Apparently there was some controversy over the selection of Bulgarian Rhapsody, as Nichev is a member of the National Council for Cinema. The council stressed that Nichev had not participated in the secret ballot that took place.

Bulgarian Rhapsody

Related Stories:

What Happened to Macedonia's Jews during the Holocaust?

The Rescue of Bulgaria's Jews

Footnote, Israel’s Oscar Nominee for Best Foreign Film (2012)

1 comment:

  1. Interesting! Hope I get a chance to see the film. I saw a stage performance of something like this in Charleston, with symphonic music and several choirs singing as well as narration. I don't now remember the name of the piece, but it was quite touching. The story included the mistress of a Nazi commander and the patriarch of the Orthodox church somehow stopping a train that was to carry Bulgarian Jews to a camp.