SPAICH – a documentary about fighter pilot Dimitar Spisarevski

Documentary about Bulgarian kamikaze Spisarevski

Prominent documentary filmmaker Adela Peeva examines the life of Bulgarian kamikaze pilot Dimitar Spisarevski.

A film about the Bulgarian kamikaze pilot Dimitar Spisarevski is being made by Adela Peeva - one of the most celebrated and award-winning Bulgarian filmmakers in recent years.

The documentary entitled "Spaich" will include reenactments, with actor Ivan Yurukov impersonating the character of the pilot.

In the Anglo-American bombings of Sofia on December 20, 1943 fighter pilot Spisarevski directed his plane to the leading plame of the enemy bombers and deliberately crashed into it. The bomber started rapidly falling down in flames while the "living torpedo" Spisarevski was turning into a legend.

After 1944 however, the Communist regime doomed his name to oblivion because he was declared defender of the cause of Nazi Germany. And it concealed the real question: Who was young officer Spisarevski actually defending in this air battle?

While working on her film about legendary Sofia mayor Ivan Ivanov, Adela Peeva accidentally found herself near the place where Spisarevski’s plane had fallen after his sacrificial act - near the village of Pasarel. She grew more and more intrigued by the story and so the idea for making this film was born.

"If you talk to random people in the street, perhaps most of them will say they never heard of Spisarevski, but I traveled almost across the whole of Bulgaria and it turned out that for many people he is an epitome of the best human traits," the film director says in an interview for BTA.

"This is a multi-layered story about a little-known part of the history of the Second World War, about the destructive, ruthless and meaningless bombings of Sofia and about the extraordinary hero who became a legend. This story might help us better understand where our society is going today, as it seems to be almost entirely devoid of values ​​and ideals.

"Spaich" seeks to answer questions about the personality of the military pilot Spisarevski, tracing his steps through recollections of contemporaries, notes, documents, film archives and old archival photographs, as well as through reenactments.

The author uses the archive materials from Bulgaria (the National Film Archive and the Bulgarian National Television) and from Germany. The documentary was partly filmed there - in Werneuchen near Berlin which was the location of the prestigious training school for pilots where Spisarevski was trained.

Near the village of Passarel, a person who knew Ivan Ivanov, the protagonist of Adela Peeva’s “The Mayor", told her how he was hiding there during the bombings. And also he showed her the place where the plane of the Bulgarian kamikaze hit the ground.

"I couldn’t get this story out of my head, the topic intrigued me more and more and at one point I felt wanted make a film about it," the filmmaker says.

(Published in "" on February 22, 2012 in an interview of Penka Momchilova - BTA /