Tobacco Memories

Slovenija, Bugarska

31'10'', 2020.


Manca Filak


Ethnocinema production


Manca Filak


Manca Filak


Манца Филак / Manca Filak


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The villages in southwest Bulgaria, between the Rila Mountains on the one side and Rhodope Mountains on the other, have long been known for the cultivation and production of tobacco. Muslim Pomaks, still engaged in this work, are facing a decline due to the low purchase price of dry tobacco leaves and difficult working conditions. Tobacco manufacture, once an element of identification of the villages, is now becoming an element of the past, a part of social memory fused with multiple connotations and meanings. The ethnographic film Tobacco Memories follows Fatme and her family in the village of Debren and shows the spatial and material dimensions of tobacco production, and the family’s relationship to the slowly disappearing lifestyle.

Manca Filak is a PhD student and a junior researcher at the Research Center of Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts (Institute of Slovenian Ethnology) in Ljubljana. She is an author of ethnographic films and documentaries screened at various film festivals in Europe and abroad.