Daily Reviews and Interviews


Narrative Feature, Midnighters
D: Javor Gardev; with Zachary Baharov, Tanya Ilieva, Vladimir Penev

A sexy Bulgarian film noir that sounds like Kafka translated by Damon Runyan and looks like the Coen Brothers by way of This Gun For Hire, Zift is nothing like what you'd expect to see coming out the ever-restless Balkans. There's no ethnic cleansing, for one thing, but there's plenty of the region's tradition of borderline nihilism, leavened with the blackest of comedy. Set in Fifties-era Sofia, Baharov plays Moth, a steely ex-con paroled into a country that has changed drastically since his incarceration following a botched diamond heist. Equal parts tragedy and comedy, Zift (the word refers to a foul, tarlike chewing gum) is one huge sticky situation, from the Bulgarian Communist coup to Moth's former partner in crime, who now wants to know where that damned diamond is. Moth's not talking, and neither are we.

Thursday, March 19, 12mid, Alamo Ritz

Keep up with all our SXSW coverage at Sign up for our South By-specific newsletter at for news, reviews, and previews delivered to your inbox every day of the Fest. And for the latest tweets, follow @ChronSXSW.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

SXSW Film Releases Full Feature Lineup
SXSW Film Releases Full Feature Lineup
Slate includes everyone from Wes Anderson to the Zellners

Monica Riese, Jan. 30, 2014

Mindy Kaling Comes to SXSW
Mindy Kaling Comes to SXSW
The comedian and showrunner will speak March 9

Monica Riese, Jan. 21, 2014

More by Marc Savlov
Brahms: The Boy II
The well-dressed, porcelain, miniature killer is back. Um … how?

Feb. 28, 2020

The Photograph
Get ready for romance with this Valentine’s release about family secrets

Feb. 21, 2020



One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

Updates for SXSW 2019

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle