A documentary of degradation, Konstantin Bojanov’s Invisible interviews six heroin addicts in Sofia, Bulgaria, over a three-year period. It disposes with social concerns and lets the individuals speak for themselves—and the regrets, rationalizations, and jerry-rigged morality they express are often fascinating. Vicki and Stani, two moped-up kids who drift weightlessly through the film, speak in hazy circles about their addiction, embarrassed about their excuses for lost loves and family fortunes. Kamen, charismatic and nihilistic, constructs an idealist philosophy (reality lies only in the mind) to justify his actions—this leaves his body open to all kinds of humiliations, including powder-blue nail polish. He endures a stretch in prison, and the interview before his release finds his relativism firmly in place, except now he exudes an Olympian calm and a belief in healthier illusions. The subtle transcendence of this turnabout is marred by Bojanov’s last-act impulse to shock, as he shows another addict overdose. His camera lingers on the lolling head, a repulsive moment of exploitation that cannot be redeemed when, minutes later, he asks if they should call an ambulance.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on May 24, 2005