Bulgarian writer/director Zornitsa Sophia makes her debut with the low-budget coming-of-age flick Mila From Mars. Mila (Vesela Kazakova), a pregnant teenager, escapes from the mysterious, menacing Alex (Lyubomir Popov) at a highway rest stop, sneaking into the cab of a grocery delivery truck. This brings her to a small, remote village, where the bored elderly residents decide to take in the sullen, silent girl. Perhaps because she doesn't say much herself, the locals bring Mila their stories, complaints, and arguments, including the generous Mother Zlata (Zlatina Todeva), who first takes Mila in (despite the dire warnings of some of her neighbors) and Jabnaki (Yorddan Bikov), who spends his time with Mila defending the sanity of his son, who was taken away by the authorities after covering a good portion of the village, and himself, with blue paint. Mila is worried, for good reason, that Alex will come looking for her. She eventually learns that the townspeople grow marijuana for Alex, who, we see in flashback, purchased Mila from an orphanage, presumably to make her a prostitute. Eventually, Mila gives birth to a son, and her relationship with the villagers changes. No one seems to care about her anymore. They are only interested in the baby. Frustrated and frightened, Mila considers abandoning the child and committing suicide, but she's drawn out of these thoughts by the strange young man (Assen Blatechki) who lives in the ruined tower on the outskirts of town. Mila From Mars was selected by the Film Society of Lincoln Center and the Museum of Modern Art for inclusion in the 2005 edition of New Directors/New Films.
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