Rocks and Chocolate: Tender Memories…

Take your basic childhood experience, add a pinch of hard-times, mix it with a dedicated storyteller, and you’re likely to discover a heart-warming film about the true meaning of love. Writer/Director Teddy Sharkova’s Rocks and Chocolate strikes a resonant chord in all of us who have agonized over a gift for a parent. What size? What color? I remember there were too many confusing choices and the process was made more difficult by the lack of cold, hard cash.
This is the territory Sharkova explores. She tells her tale through the gray filter of eastern European austerity.
“Rock and Chocolate is about the relationship between a little girl and her father in post socialist Bulgaria. It’s a film about the love these two people have for each other and the ways they show it to each other, despite the difficult conditions in which they are forced to live,” says Sharkova.
Sharkova’s film is a touching portrayal of a daughter’s loss of innocence as she seeks to express her love to her Father on the occasion of his birthday. Sharkova’s main character, a daring young girl (played delightfully by Elena Vateva) hovers between the worlds of childhood innocence and the tough realities of Bulgarian life. The daughter’s strength and courage (and yes, her dishonesty) makes the tale compelling.
The film, beautifully lensed by Bulgarian DP Emil Christov , is tight and taut in all the right places. The main characters’ mad dash home from the grocery to save their dinner (accidentally cracked eggs) is one of the film’s shining moment. Sharkova’s direction makes it clear she understands her characters and their bonds to one another. Finally, an excellent score by composer Milscho Vasilev rounds out this delightful film.

Steven May, Professor of Film and Video, SCAD

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