Immigration and Brexit are topical issues that this socially-tinged comedy-drama honestly addresses
Genification, one of the great problems of today, encouraged by capitalism, especially in big cities, is one of the themes present in ‘Little Miracles on Peckham Street’, a long-format debut by the Bulgarian documentary filmmakers Mina Mileva and Vesela Kazakova . Based in London, they place their proposal in the English city, in an urban environment in which the locals of the neighborhood coexist with immigrants. A single mother, displaced from Bulgaria, tries to make her way as an architect while observing around her how most of her neighbors live on subsidies, without the slightest interest in changing the situation. Her daily life suffers a setback when a cat gets trapped in the wall, an unexpected domestic accident that leads to a community conflict that forces the protagonist to make serious decisions.
Immigration, xenophobia and Brexit are themes hovering over ‘Little Miracles on Peckham Street’, premiered at the Locarno Film Festival. It has also been seen, reaping good vibes, in the Official Section at the Sarajevo Film Festival and in Valladolid, within the framework of the 64th Edition of the Seminci. Mileva and Vesela are known under the nickname Demonic Duo, due to their interest in the documentary format, with titles such as ‘The Beast is Still Alive’ or ‘Uncle Tony, Three Fools and the Secret Service’.
His first fiction production seeks precisely the documentary aesthetic, camera in hand, showing fragments of the lives of the main characters. Set in a London suburb, the film is “about the impossible relationship between immigrants and Londoners, and the threat that gentrification brings to communities living in a state of social welfare”, in the words of the directors themselves. “The manipulation of the media on the eve of Brexit caused a sharp increase in racist violence and hate speech across Britain.”
“I am in love with Britain and its famous culture of acceptance, tolerance and humor,” emphasizes Mina. “I fled from the dark side of post-communist capitalism in Bulgaria and have enjoyed my professional fulfillment on the islands. For me, this film narrates the loss of compassion and normalcy that I found for the first time there. The script is based on my personal experience and the events that take place in my neighborhood. A bill for astronomical charges and a fight over a stolen cat characterized the absurd situation in which I found myself and I have tried to provide an unusual narrative. ” He decided, together with his managing partner, to stay in a very small apartment throughout the writing of the script. “These semi-claustrophobic environments helped us study the nuanced process of dehumanization,” he continues. «A process seasoned with racism and daily prejudices and deeply caused by the fear of losing social assets. One of the most important challenges for us, as directors, was preserving the authenticity of the events and the people of that enclave and representing it correctly.
We chose a mix of professional actors and non-professional actors, through a demanding process of casting and rehearsal to preserve the feeling of naturalness. “We both believe that the film addresses current problems in an honest way, because everything is based on real events and experiences that we know first-hand and that are related to immigrants,” adds Vesela, a partner in fatigue.