“Normal people escape from prison. We locked ourselves inside.”
In the Heart of the Machine is the newest submission for Bulgaria for International Feature. Directed by Martin Makariev, the film takes place in a maximum-security prison in Sofia in 1971. Bohemy has been in prison for quite some time. He has been charged with committing a murder. And he got a sentence of 26 years in prison. Bohemy explains that the first few years of prison are extremely hard and complicated. After though it feels like you were born there and you adapt, eventually.
Bohemy leads a group of inmates inside the prison called Warehouse 2. They build hydraulic valves for armoured transports. The warden tells Bohemy that if he’s able to double production, he will get parole next year. He tells the warden that the only way to get that goal is to hire more inmates. He’s able to get one more worker, and so he chooses an individual named The Cleaver.
As work begins the next day, The Cleaver finds something inside the heart of the machine that he’s working on. His actions towards this changes the lives of everyone in that warehouse forever.
Fate and humanity are the main themes in director Makariev’s latest film. A single incident from one individual can impact the lives of everyone around them. Something so small can change someone’s entire life, for the better or for the worse. The film is a metaphor for the complexity of the human life. And how you can find humanity in the most unexpected places. And how hopelessness, like being inside a prison, can turn into a feeling of freedom. Like being a bird in the sky. What is it that makes us human? It’s not something that you can program. It’s the strength of the human heart.