The Good Postman

When gentle village postman Ivan throws his hat into the ring for the local mayoral seat, the outcome of this small election (to be decided by fewer than 50 votes) feels as if it couldn’t be of greater global urgency. Situated right at the border with Turkey, the sleepy Bulgarian town of Golyam Dervent (historically a gateway to Europe since the time of the Roman and Ottoman Empires) has once again become an important leg on the journey to Europe, this time for Syrian refugees. With wider world implications at play, the humble election soon takes on all the trappings of a high drama campaign, most amusingly in the strange mix of personalities involved. Progressive-minded postman Ivan campaigns on a plan to welcome refugees to the town; his ideological rival—a buffoonish, self-styled rock star, also named Ivan—runs on a nativist, Russophile platform (“I want internet for everyone! Like in Putin’s Russia!” he barks at a campaign rally, to a bizarre Casiotone accompaniment). Meanwhile, their incumbent adversary, Vesa, locks herself in her office and campaigns on what may be the most infuriating platform of all, “I don’t care.” The Good Postman is an absorbing documentary which raises thoughtful questions about personal moral responsibility during one of the great humanitarian crises of our time. —Tien-Tien L. Jong

w/English Subtitle
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