The Swimming Pool


62nd TIFF: Greek Premiere

Three very different people meet at a swimming pool, and their lives become intertwined. The first is a young girl, just out of school, who was stood up by a date on her graduation night. As she stands on a high-diving platform, she encounters an old widower, an architect whose wife died in an accident. Also present is an antic young artist, who capers around and cheers her up.

Screening Schedule

No physical screenings scheduled.

Direction: Binka Zhelyazkova
Script: Hristo Ganev
Cinematography: Ivaylo Trenchev
Editing: Madlena Dyakova
Sound: Lubcho Petrov, Metodi Shterev
Music: Simeon Pironkov
Actors: Kosta Tsonev, Yanina Kasheva, Kliment Denchev, Tzvetana Maneva, Petar Slabakov, Georgi Kaloyanchev, Vassil Mihajlov
Production: Boyana Film
Costumes: Lyubka Madzharova
Production Design: Mary-Terez Gospodinova
Make Up: Agnes Kazasova
Format: DCP
Color: Color
Production Country: Bulgaria
Production Year: 1977
Duration: 137'
Contact: Bulgarian National Film Archive

Binka Zhelyaskova

Binka Zhelyazkova was born on July 15, 1923, in the town of Svilengrad, Bulgaria. She studied theater at the National Theater Institute in Sofia. For a brief time, she also studied theater direction at VGIK, Moscow, with theater professor Lobanov. Upon graduation, she began working as an assistant director at the National Film Studio in Sofia. Her career as a film director began in 1957 when she co-directed her first feature film Life Flows Slowly By… with her husband Hristo Ganev. At the end of the 1950s, Binka Zhelyazkova was one of the few women in the world making feature films. Her career developed during the period of socialist realism in Bulgarian cinema, which demanded the presentation of an idealized image of life as if it were a reality. This was to be done by means of simple plots and positive heroes. But hers was a counter-cinema to the accepted socialist realism, often challenging the restrictive rules set by the Communist ideological machine. Binka Zhelyazkova’s style was influenced by Italian Neorealism and the French New Wave, as well as Russian Cinema. The poetic and metaphoric imagery of her films often prompted critics to compare her to Fellini and Tarkovski. During her career, she directed seven feature films and two documentaries. Four of her nine films were banned from distribution and reached audiences only after the end of communism. She was the director of the Bulgarian section of Women in Film, an organization created in 1989 after the international women in film conference, KIWI, in Tbilisi, Georgia. She stopped making films after 1989, which coincided with the fall of the communist regime in Bulgaria. For some time after that, she remained active in the women in film organization but soon completely withdrew from public life.


1957 Zivotat si teche tiho| Life Flows Slowly By...
1961 A biahme mladi | We Were Young
1967 Privarzanijat Balon | The Tied-Up Balloon
1973 Poslednata duma | The Last Word
1977 Baseinat | The Swimming Pool
1980 Goliamoto noshtno kapane | The Big Night Bathe
1982 Nani-na | Lullaby (doc)
1982 Litse i opako | The Bright and Dark Side of Things (doc)
1988 Noshtem po pokrivite | On the Roofs at Night (TV)