DIRECTOR MILKO LAZAROV: THE FILM ÁGA IS A LEGEND ABOUT THE LAST FAMILY
The interview was taken from TransmediumNews.
How did you come up with the idea for Aga, a seemingly distant story about an Inuit family in the Far North?
I’ve been thinking a lot about why I engaged with this project. The roots may have been in my childhood when I was reading books about North Pole researchers, the South Pole, about Roald Amundsen, the airship … I lived in these stories, I was a very sensitive child. My parents even took me to the hospital once, because of excitement I was getting a great palpitations. Later I hardened, I developed a thicker skin. But there was the memory of this “white” period, I was still excited to go to these places.
The set production of Aga must have been quite complicated. Did you have difficulty finding locations, actors – we hear that the locals had trouble being authentic?
That’s the style of acting there. They are influenced by the Chinese and Mongolian theaters. We had great problems with this, even though I was about to change the main character in the beginning. Before that, we went a long way to find where to shoot. Yakutia was our last choice after we rejected Canada and Greenland.
Was the higher price the thing that stopped you?
Not only. It is very difficult to get there. They monitor the script and there is a slight extortion. I felt it in Canada, where a woman is responsible for this community, the Inuit in Nunavut province. She did not say it directly, but I felt she wanted to change things, present them in a different light. In a state of panic, I was also thinking about shooting locations around Silistra and Cherni Vrah during winter time, but it would not have been the same. The sky, the illumination in the north is different.
How did you communicate with the actors, in Russian?
With the few who knew English – in English. I speak Russian well, but some of them only speak the regional language. Otherwise, they all have Russian names, they are totally assimilated, but some who lived in the godforsaken ареас of the taiga do not know Russian. Such is Galina Tikhonova, who plays our main heroine, Aga. It is hard for me understand her, even now, at the festival in Sarajevo we were together. We actually find understanding, because we already know and love each other, but a rather non-verbal way.
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