THE COLOR OF THE CHAMELEON
Batko becomes a secret-police informant. He performs his duties with great zeal, and yet he is unduly dismissed. His ego is badly hurt. His experience with clandestine work makes him realize a simple fact – the system of the political police is flawed by nature. Secrecy is both, its power and weakness. The system depends on the presumed authenticity of the agents and recruitment of informants based on fear. The operations of the secret police could be imitated by rogue individuals posing as agents. Batko creates a phantom secret-police department – a backdoor in the matrix of political control. He becomes the spider in his own web of informants by recruiting a group of intellectuals to spy on each other. He builds his own secret archive. After the fall of communism, Batko uses it to wreak havoc on the government. This is a dark political comedy. The provocations that spur the plot forward in a slew of hilarious, yet diabolical absurdities come from the workings of the mind of a psychopathic schemer. The movie offers a paradoxical twist in the standard representation of totalitarianism as a society of victims and victimizers. It exposes the maniacal desire to collaborate and the pleasure of spying on others, the temptation to conform and at the same time hack the system using its own devices.
Emil Christov was born in Sofia, Bulgaria. He attended the College of Photography and studied Cinematography at the Bulgarian National Theater and Film Academy. He worked as director of photography of feature films, documentaries, and music videos. The Color of the Chameleon is his directorial debut.