Gana is a nurse who spends her days shuttling between elderly patients. Yet behind her seemingly selfless work tending to the physical indignities of old age, Gana is running a scam: In cahoots with her boyfriend — with whom she shares a morphine addiction — Gana steals her patients' ID cards and sells them to a corrupt cop, who in turn supplies the cards to shell companies. When Gana strikes up a relationship with one of her patients, a retired choirmaster, and finds herself quietly moved by the hymns sung by his chorus, she begins to question her hardened existence. Is it too late for her to carve out a path of beauty and light? Directed with striking formal intuition by Ralitza Petrova, GODLESS follows one woman's existential dilemma in the post-Communist city of Vratsa, Bulgaria, here shot as a jarring juxtaposition of picturesque and crumbling. Irena Ivanova's understated performance, which scored the Best Actress prize at the Locarno International Film Festival, carries this stunning debut. — Beth Hanna
Ralitza Petrova’s films have garnered acclaim at film festivals such as Cannes, Berlin, San Sebastian and Karlovy Vary. GODLESS won four awards at the Locarno International Film Festival, including the Golden Leopard for Best Film, Best Actress and the Prize of the Ecumenical Jury.