Synopsis

The story in the movie Levski is a classic tale about the life and death of the greatest Bulgarian revolutionary Vasil Levski, known also as Deacon Ignatiy. The story starts in 1841, during the darkest period of the Turkish yoke. Five-year-old Levski sees Turks raping and slaughtering young women in a small church. He also witnesses the survival of a little baby boy, the son of a high-ranking Turkish officer and a beautiful Bulgarian woman. The life stories of the two boys become intertwined as they grow into young men. The next shocking event in the life of the young Vasil is the death of his father. The boy was only 10 years old when he saw his father beheaded right next to him. After that he enters a monastery to become a monk, but the education he receives there makes him realize how tragic the plight of his people is and understand that they are slaves of the cruel rule of an empire whose elite have lost themselves in a world of meaningless existence. He takes the decision to leave religious life and dedicates himself to the idea of liberating his beloved motherland from the Turks. After he gets trained as a legionnaire, he joins the rebellion movement, but realizes that its fighting tactic would not achieve success. He is so dedicated to his country and people that he does not waver in the choice he has made even when he falls in love with beautiful Anna. Levski starts organizing revolutionary committees all over the country. He has succeeded in setting up more than 400 committees when one of his apostles attacked a convoy of the Turkish postal service to procure money for weapons. That leads to a series of treacherous acts and many of Levski’s followers are killed. The feeling of guilt about these deaths, the disappointment in the mentality of his people whose minds are as difficult to reach as a stone wall and the realization that perhaps he is years ahead of his time made Levski sacrifice himself and his own life in the name of the survival of the revolution by giving himself in to the Turks.

The bold decision of the director Maxim Genchev to change the orthodox perspective on the events and to look at them from the standpoint of the 21-st century makes this version of the life and death of the greatest national hero revolutionary in itself. The road to the gallows is depicted as the road to Golgotha where Deacon Ignatiy sees the future and where he meets his God and with his last words, he blesses his beloved Bulgaria.