Sofia, the capital city of Bulgaria, has more than a million inhabitants but only 13 ambulances... Ilian Metev's gritty, multi-award-winning documentary follows two medics and their driver as they struggle to cope with the problems of a society on the brink of social and economic collapse.
Shot in a style that recall's Abbas Kiarostami's 10, with a camera on each of the cockpit's trio, Metev's film refreshingly lacks any sensationalism, political agenda or contrivances. A fly-on-the-dashboard record, this extraordinary, unsentimental 'state-of-the-nation' portrait emerges as a film of universal relevance about a decaying health care system within a society in transition. Filled with humour and camaraderie, it is also a study of three dedicated professionals with a passion for their work and a love of humanity.
The DVD is presented in a new anamorphic digital transfer with restored picture approved by the director. The DVD also features Ilian Metev's award-winning 2008 short film Goleshovo; a newly filmed video piece featuring director Ilian Metev in conversation with the films' sound recordist Tom Kirk (shot by the director especially for this release), and a booklet featuring a new essay on the film by the editor of Sofia's Last Ambulance, Betina Ip.
• Presented from a new HD digital transfer with restored picture and sound, approved by the director.
• In conversation – a new and exclusive filmed piece with the director and sound recordist Tom Kirk.
• Goleshovo - Ilian Metev's award-winning 2008 short film.
• 12-page booklet featuring new writing on the film by editor Betina Ip, and an interview with the director.
• Released for the first time in the English-speaking world.
Directed by Ilian Metev
Camera - Ilian Metev
Editor – Ilian Metev, Betina Ip
Sound – Tom Kirk
Sound design – Dominic Fitzgerald
Additional camera – Metodi Metev, Tom Kirk
2012 Cannes Film Festival / Winner: France 4 Visionary Award
2012 Bratislava International Film Festival /
Winner: Best Documentary
2012 Karlovy Vary International Film Festival /
Winner: Best Documentary Feature
2012 Leipzig DOK Festival / Winner: Silver Dove - Ilian Metev
2012 Zurich Film Festival / Special mention
2013 German Documentary Film Award
"A major discovery... You feel this film in your gut, like a brick through a windshield" IndieWire
"Imagine Fredrick Wiseman directing The Death of Mr. Lazarescu" Anthony Kaufman, Sundance Now
"The best movie I saw at the Moscow Film Festival was Sofia's Last Ambulance" Mark Cousins
"Rigidly constucted and deeply human" Variety
"A stark documentary that couldn't be more timely" CineVue
"The film we couldn't stop talking about was Sofia's Last Ambulance..." Nick Bradshaw, Sight & Sound
"As pure and as uncompromising as a documentary film gets" Cineuropa