Distributed by Women Make Movies, 462 Broadway, New York, NY 10013; 212-925-0606
Produced by Renate Lorenz Medien Produktion/ZDF
Directed by Pauline Boudry, Brigitta Kuster, Renate Lorenz
VHS, color, 68 min.
Sr. High - Adult
Computer Industry, Computer Science, European Studies, Women's Studies
Reviewed by Jessica Schomberg, Minnesota State University, Mankato
Date Entered: 6/21/2005
Three female computer specialists and three female researchers examine Bulgaria’s recent technological, political, and social history. They attempt to chronicle the development of the Pravetz computer and Bulgaria’s history of computer virus production, relating it to the role of women and the challenges of moving to a democratic, capitalist society.
While the premise is interesting and many of the interviews are compelling, it seems that the surfeit of directors led to haphazard organization and editing choices. Some of the interviews and archival footage were appropriate and evocative. Others were either “humorous” attempts at creating the atmosphere of a Cold War espionage film or confusing attempts to prove one of several theses, each of which could have had its own documentary.
The film quality and sound are generally satisfactory. The narration is in German; dialog is primarily in spoken Bulgarian or English. English subtitles are provided when necessary.
The poor editing and lack of focus are unfortunate, but the insights it provides into the role of women in Bulgarian’s computer industry could be valuable additions to computer science, globalization, human geography, or women’s studies courses. Recommended for upper level high school and college audiences.