• Die Grube
  • Die Grube
  • Die Grube

Die Grube / The Pit

by Hristiana Raykova Focus Switzerland, Germany, Austria / Competition

On the beach of the Bulgarian city of Varna – with its fantastic view of the Black Sea – lies an old thermal bath with rusty pipes and provisional showers, lovingly called “The Pit” by its visitors. Here people sit lazing the day away in 37-degree waters under open skies, improving their health. Pensioners in particular appreciate the free and communal little paradise on the outskirts of the city, where they can philosophise about life or play cards, while at night, “The Pit” becomes a refuge for gays and sex workers. Threatened with renovation, however, the social microcosm is in danger; a threat which its regulars are not willing to put up with. Filmmaker Hristiana Raykova’s beautiful and picturesque imagery lends something magical to this unusual setting, distilling a differentiated portrait of current-day Bulgaria from a thermal bath.


  • Genre: DOC: Social & Human Interest
  • Country, Year: Germany, Bulgaria, 2019
  • Runtime: 73 Min
  • Languages: Bulgarian, Russian, German
  • Subtitles: German, English
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  • Director: Hristiana Raykova
  • Cast: Alexander Atanasov, Dimtscho Ivanov, Genadi Radomirov, Borislav „Bobi“ Kostadinov, Bontscho Ivanov, Olga Lipatova
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  • Screenplay: Hristiana Raykova
  • Cinematography: Johannes Greisle
  • Editor: Kai Eiermann
  • Sound: Laura Matissek
  • Music: Marcus Sander
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  • Producer: Genia Krassnig
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  • Production Companies: Filmuniversität Babelsberg Konrad Wolf, RBB - Rundfunk Berlin-Brandenburg
  • www.facebook.com/diegrubedok
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