Sofia's Last Ambulance

Directed by Ilian Metev | Bulgaria/Germany/Croatia | 2012 | 75 min.

Thursday, March 27 | 7:15pm | McConomy Auditorium, CMU's University Center
5000 Forbes Avenue

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Event Includes: Screening of Dr. Paul Goodman's short "Nurse"
Presented in Conjunction with: the Humanities Scholars Program at Carnegie Mellon University

"Faces convey all that auds need to know." —Variety

Silence, except for the unsteady rattling of tools and disturbing bumps on the unknown road ahead--these are the sounds of an emergency rescue in Sofia, Bulgaria. In Sofia's Last Ambulance, director Illian Metev places audiences side-by-side with those suffering the unfortunate reality of an alarmingly pressing medical issue--a deteriorating ambulance and emergency response system. In one day of work, we see car accidents, addiction, injury, and death. We see friendship, cherishing words, and an acquired respect for the fragility of life. In the most formidable of challenges, we see bravery. The physical, emotional, and psychological unity of human essence is presented through touchingly subtle dialogue, contrasted with riveting rescue sequences and heart-wrenching moments of loss. Camera shots focus on the faces of the story's three heroes during a time of crisis, on the comfort of survival rather than on gruesome gore so characteristic of television dramas. Sofia's Last Ambulance calls us to thought and action through a plot line that is boldly compelling in its profound, stylistic simplicity--truly a film that stands in a rank all on its own.

Sofia's Last Ambulance will be preceded by a showing of Dr. Paul Goodman's Nurse. This inspiring short film takes us inside Pittsburgh's very own Mercy Hospital. We are introduced to a neo-natal nurse who spends long days and nights treating high-risk infants. Even though she deals daily with situations of life or death, this devoted employee remains optimistic and truly devoted to her work.


- Winner of the France 4 Visionary Award at the 2012 Cannes Film Festival
- Winner of the Silver Dove Award at the 2012 Leipzig DOK Festival
- Winner of the Silver Eye Award for Best Eastern European Documentary at the 2012 Jihlava International Documentary Film Festival
- Winner of the Best Documentary Award at the 2012 Bratislava International Film Festival
- Winner of the Grand Prix Documentary at the 2012 Karlovy Vary International Film Festival
- Winner of the Grand Prix at the 2012 Mediterranean Film Festival


Ilian Metev
Ilian Metev is a Bulgarian filmmaker who spent his adolescence in Germany. He studied Fine Art at Central Saint Martins in London, as well as filmmaking at the UK National Film and Television School. Metev is also the director, photographer, and co-producer of Goleshovo (2008).

Humanities Center