Sofia’s Last Ambulance / Последната линейка на София (Bulgaria/Sweden, 2012)

directed by Ilian Metev, documentary, 75 min, eng subtitles
written by Ilian Metev

Bulgarian director Ilian Metev's documentary feature debut, Sofia's Last Ambulance, follows a three-person medical team as it deals with emergencies around Bulgaria's capital over a 48-hour shift. Dr. Krassi Yordanov, nurse Mila and driver Plamen are in charge of one of only 13 ambulances that serve a city with a population of 1.2 million. They have to fight the crumbling medical system, drunk and drugged patients and their panicked family members, careless drivers and potholes that seem to riddle all the streets of the bustling city of Sofia.
Director Metev opts for a purely observational approach: there are no interviews, nor a voice-over, and throughout the film we are in the ambulance with the medical crew or in the apartments and houses where they go to attend to patients. Sofia's Last Ambulance is as pure and as uncompromising as a documentary film can be, and the director's manipulation of the audience is as minimal as the film medium allows. It is a film about the ruined health care system of a society in transition, but more than that, it's a study of three dedicated professionals with a passion for their job and love for humanity.

51st International Critics' Week 2012 (France 4 Visionary Award)
Karlovy Vary IFF 2012 (Best Documentary Film Over 30 Minutes)
Festival dei Popoli (Best Director)
DOK Leipzig 2012 (Silver Dove)