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The Short Straw

The Short Straw

Four uniformed law enforcement officers - three sergeants and an officer - become entangled in a story that begins as a provincial vaudeville - on suspicion of infidelity. And it ends tragically.

The Short Straw
Cast & Crew
  • Feature film, drama, Bulgaria, 2021, 86 minutes

    Script by: Dimitre Zlatinov

    Director: Dimiter Petkov

    With: Elizabeth Marangozova, Vyara Kolarova, Ruslan Maynov, Kitodar Todorov, Tino, Zahari Tanev

    DoP: Ivan Tonev

    Producer: ARS Digital Studio - Ivan Tonev

    With the support of the National Film Center Executive Agency

    The date is the night of December 28, 1979 - the "beginning of the end" of socialism. The army is on high alert. Rumors of a Soviet invasion of Afghanistan are circulating. The head of a provincial police station arranges for his subordinate to be on night duty to visit his young wife in his absence. Two of his subordinates are aware of the adventures of their boss and are ready to do anything to cover him up; they begin with innocent cunning, but the spiral of lies makes every move wrong as it leads them to the prospect of murder as the only way out. However, they do not want to get their hands dirty, and entrust the performance to their young colleague. Thus he will receive a "baptism of fire." After the chief fucked his wife, after he was unjustly accused of a crime he did not commit to save his skin, the young sergeant will have to commit murder. And then he will become a whistleblower to his boss - and so he will enter the spiral. Everyone knows everything, so no one will have a winning move. Life will go on and law enforcement will be entangled in a satanic knot. Participants in it will not become friends. They will become allies in trouble - "ominously connected" people. They will lurk, and each will know that the other will not forgive him if he has the opportunity to do so. Everyone will hide their hatred for the others, but all of them will keep the common dirty secret together ... All that remains is for the young sergeant to throw the victim into the swamp. On the cold Christmas night of 1979, eternal themes intertwine - love and jealousy, friendship and betrayal, fear and power struggles, sin. Time and place are specific, but this story can happen wherever fear and meanness prevail over reason and dignity. No matter what the regime and what the weather is. With "The Short Stick" the director Dimitar Petkov returns to the feature film after a nearly 20-year absence. Vicious relationships based on fear and extortion, dirty secrets that connect responsible people - all that people know as "addiction", is the basis of the film written by Dimitar Zlatinov.

    "Just as the cell contains the model of the whole body, so the Short Stick contains the DNA of our socialist past and controversial present. To any regime that cannot survive without violence and terror. "Everywhere Fear overcomes Reason and Dignity," says Dimitar Petkov.


    • - 2021 - Calgary Independent Film Festival
    • • 2021 - Mannheim Arts and Film Festival
    • • 2021 - Berlin International Art Film Festival

    In the official selection of

    • - New York Independent Cinema Awards
    • • 10th Noida International Film Festival-2023
    • • Love & Hope International Film Festival
    • • 2021 Montreal Independent Film Festival - Official selection of the month award for best feature film
    • • Sochi Film Festival
  • Keywords
  • Genres
  • Release Date
    March 11, 2022
  • Languages
  • Countries
      Филми, Телевизионни Предавания, Режисьори и Филмово Студио

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