The great Bulgarian novelist and scriptwriter Svoboda Bachvarova has passed away at the age of 87 in Brazil. She spent the last 20 years in the family of her daughter married in Latin America.
Svoboda Bachvarova’s life is reminiscent of the stories in many of her works characterized by the interweaving of harsh reality and romance. She was the daughter of the famous anti-fascist Todor Angelov. Her childhood was associated with the privation and hardships that the family and her persecuted father had to experience in several countries of Western Europe. Todor Angelov fought in the Spanish Civil War and died in 1943 as one of the leaders and heroes of the Belgian Resistance. His daughter was a witness also of the persecution carried out by the pro-German regime in Bulgaria during World War II and the repression started by the pro-Soviet government that came to power in 1944. In the period of Nikita Khrushchvv’s rule, she worked as a journalist covering cultural affairs, promoting many progressive ideas and new literary names. Later, she focused her creative work on literature and cinema.
Svoboda Bachvarova’s talent is particularly evident in the movies based on her scripts. She knew how to create brilliant dramatic situations and memorable characters. Bachvarova was co-screenwriter of the widely popular television series "Every kilometer" (Na vseki kilometar), portraying the Resistance movement in Bulgaria. The film “Measure for Measure” based on her novel "Liturgy on Ilinden" tells about the struggles of Macedonian Bulgarians against Ottoman rule, crowned with the Ilinden Uprising. This romantic epic of history is represented with its severity, drama and internal contradictions.
In 2008, Svoboda Bachvarova returned home to present her trilogy "In a Particularly Painful Manner...", a documentary saga following the life story of her father, but going beyond the limitations of a strictly biographical novel. Interweaving many lives, it draws a major portrait in which, insightfully and wisely, the painter tells about several generations of Bulgarians and Europeans, whom history has treated in "a particularly painful manner".
"I am very excited by my arrival in Bulgaria, because overseas I was told many things about here, both good and bad and contradictory, and I was impatient to see things with my own eyes, but my love is unchanged”, Svoboda Bachvarova said at the premiere of the trilogy in Sofia. “I stay connected with Bulgaria and especially with my native Pirin region, where every stone, every house, and every street has a story. So I'm glad I’m here and while I feel sorrow for the unresolved problems of this suffering country called Bulgaria, I wish all Bulgarians never to lose their courage and faith."
English version: Rossitsa Petcova