Women Do Cry Screening

March 28, 2022 | 5:00PM
Foster Hall, Room 107

Film Screening and conversation with the directors Mina Mileva and Vesela Kazakova

Featuring Maria Bakalova of Borat 2, Mileva and Kazakova’s 2021 film Women Also Cry (“Zhenite sashto plachat”) examines the (arguably worsening) gender inequality in Bulgaria. Based on a true story, it is a “defiant and surprisingly funny drama” that explores the effects of misogyny, but also “the bonds of family and the resilience of hope” (Gene Siskel Film Center). The film is also part of the Chicago European Union Film Festival at the Gene Siskel Film Center this year.

To Bulgarian women, the film is especially topical and poignant. While Bulgaria was once a leader in LGBTQ rights, the last decade has shown very troubling trends. When in 2017 Bulgaria was invited to ratify the Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence, known as The Istanbul Convention, the pushback reached a feverish pitch. The mistranslation of the term “gender” into Bulgarian gave rise to conspiracy theories about the West trying to introduce a “third gender” in Bulgaria. There were protests and the matter went to the Bulgarian Constitutional Court, which, in a vote 8 to 4, decided that the Istanbul Convention was unconstitutional. Bulgaria remains the only EU country that has not signed the convention. Meanwhile, cases of domestic violence as well as violence against LGBTQ groups are on the rise.