This unique documentary interviews survivors of this Bulgarian community that was occupied by the Nazi leadership. Yet as Hitler forced his final solution upon the population, this Bulgarian community managed to survive this evil bureaucracy of Adolph Eichmann. “The Optimists” posed the question, “Why was this community able to survive when others did not?”
Perhaps the answer could be rooted in the community with shared common values. This population had managed to live in peace with one another for 1000 years previous to Hitler. There was definite unity through diversity because this Bulgarian population was divided between the Christians, Jews and Muslims.
With grainy color footage and interviews seemingly conducted with a family’s 16 millimeter projector, “The Optimists” is a piece of oral history. Like all oral history, interpretation can be divided. However an overall theme does emerge from “The Optimists,” that the basic tenets of the three great religions have more in common than not. It is a lesson that most religion pundits and media news organizations need to understand when they discuss modern issues like “Holy War.”
Both “The Optimists” and “Sophie “ are movies that demand patience of their audience. Both films pay off emotional upon each climax. Given the turbulent days that we live in, perhaps the virtue of patience has become a forgotten virtue.