New Realities / UK premiere

Sofia’s Last Ambulance

  • Ilian Metev /
  • Croatia, Bulgaria, Germany /
  • 2012 /
  • 76 mins

Krassimir Yordanov, Mila Mikhailova, Plamen Slavkov / Documentary / Bulgarian

And you thought the NHS was underfunded...

Sofia, the capital city of Bulgaria, has over two million inhabitants and only 13 ambulances. This beautifully observed, affectionate and surprisingly optimistic film follows the crew of one of these hard-pressed vehicles — doctor Krassi, nurse Mila and driver Plamen — as, armed with dedication, humour and cigarettes, they struggle to save lives in the face of a lack of resources, a crumbling infrastructure and roads that are more pothole than tarmac.

2013 Archive

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  • #1 Iain Leheny / Saturday 22 June, 2013 / 01:06 GMT

    Very enjoyable. A purely observational documentary, in which cameras follow an ambulance crew in Bulgaria’s cash-strapped capital city. We see them dealing with some intensely frustrating situations and gain a degree of insight into life in Sofia.

    It is nicely shot, with the patients and their injuries never shown on camera. Focus always therefore remains on the ambulance crew and their individual reactions to the situation at hand. The result is a very likeable and thoroughly absorbing character study. Well worth a watch.
  • #2 Bruce Laing / Saturday 22 June, 2013 / 20:08 GMT

    Learned that this film had a positive impact on increase ambulance workers pay
  • #3 Pamela Hanlon / Sunday 23 June, 2013 / 21:47 GMT

    It certainly makes you realise that while the NHS has its problems here, we're still very lucky to have what we do.

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