That’s why Niki Iliev took aim with the wrong eye in the movie “Botev”

The shot with the mistakenly closed eye of Niki Iliev in the film “Botev” by Maxim Genchev has become one of the hotly commented topics among Bulgarian society. In the role of the Circassian Jambulet, the actor points a gun and closes one eye to aim, but according to many viewers, he closed the wrong eye.

In connection with the scene of Niki Iliev, which quickly became a sensation on social networks, the actor and director of the Satirical Theater Kalin Sarmenov shared on his Facebook profile a post from a satirical page, under which he wrote:

“They removed the barracks and watch what happens in the movies.”

In his defense, Niki Iliev explained that since his eyes are lighter, they are very sensitive.

“I tried with my right eye open, but I lasted two seconds and it started to water,” he added in a social media post.

Iliev defined the reason for what happened as a “boring story” and in conclusion wrote:

“I told you – stupidity and boredom. But if you enjoy barrack jokes more (I would), you can use them as much as you want. Happy New Year everyone.”

The film “Botev”, directed by Maxim Genchev, tells about the events of 1876, when Hristo Botev led two hundred young revolutionaries to help the insurgent Bulgarians. And this tape of Genchev brought with it many scandals and gathered extremely negative comments. Some critics even believe that with the broadcast of this film, Hristo Botev was killed again.

Maxim Genchev became famous ten years ago with the super-successful advertising of retro-style sausages “Oo, Pepi”. In which he played the salami man who delivered the unforgettable line. The whole of Bulgaria knew and sympathized with him. But after she devoted herself to directing patriotic films, she became the most despised person in the territory.

And although he worked for years on the film “Botev”, he received dozens of criticisms for the script, the editing, and the acting. Although the film officially premiered in theaters last year on March 3, there was a lack of any kind of commentary back then. So far, it has been screened around the country most often among schoolchildren and in front of Bulgarian communities abroad. But its broadcast on January 2, 2023 on BNT proved to be key, because 2023 is Botev’s year – January 6 marks the 175th anniversary of his birth. Probably due to the lack of real tragic events this Christmas, the whole of Bulgaria is fixated on the film.

While the passions surrounding the movie “Botev” have not subsided, a new scandal has arisen both in society and among politicians. Two weeks after Maxim Genchev announced that he would shoot another historical film, the incident with the president’s daughter arose. The head of state was accused of nepotism. On Thursday, the parliamentary committee on culture and media also raised the question of whether there is a person close to the presidential institution in the committee that evaluates the films at BNT and whether it represents a conflict of interest. Rumen Radev commented that his daughter had no commitment.

On December 21, Maxim Genchev himself announced on Facebook that he is starting work on a new film and that Darina Radeva will star in it. “24 hours ago” confirmed the participation of the president’s daughter, releasing other names in the female roles. Although Niki Iliev himself told the media that the director invited him for the main male role, but according to Maxim Genchev, no actor has been chosen yet. “For the king, I don’t have an established casting yet, he will be the last to come out,” says the director.


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