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Film / Thou Who Art In Heaven

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"Master forgot to love his trade. Violin forgot to love the musician. Man forgot to love himself."
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Thou Who Art In Heaven (original title: Ти, Който си на небето [Ti, Koito si na nebeto]) is a 1990 Bulgarian film, adaptation of writer Viktor Paskov's novel A Ballad for Georg Henig. The film tells of the friendship between Georg Henig, a Czech luthier who founded Bulgaria's luthier school, and a boy named Viktor. Henig, once a pioneer of his art in Bulgaria, is now living in abject poverty after the 1944, when communists took over. His old age, horrible neighbors and the hard times aren't an obstacle for little Viktor to try to save his old friend from dying forgotten.


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This film features the following tropes:

  • The Big Guy: Manol, a very fierce man, is a neighbor of Viktor's family and helps them scare off Henig's neighbor by threatening to cut him piece by piece.
  • Bilingual Bonus: The (imaginary) ghosts of Georg's relatives speak in untranslated Czech.
  • Cool Old Guy: Georg Henig.
  • Cranky Neighbor: A very brutal and non-comedic version. The government forces Henig to share his already cramped house with a thuggish railway worker who beats him and sics his dog on him (thinking that Henig let thieves in who stole his moped), leaving him wounded in winter and without warmth.
  • Dead Person Conversation: Henig takes Viktor to church and talks to his loved ones in what appears to be Talking to the Dead, but they answer (or so it seems to Viktor), asking him about the boy.
  • Disappointed in You: When Master Frantov offers to buy Henig's Viola D'Amore, he is disappointed how Frantov learned nothing.
    Georg Henig: Never become poor like Franta.
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  • Fair Weather Friend: Hristo Frantov, Henig's foremost apprentice, comes asking his old mentor for services and even his tools, but when Viktor's father asks him to pay for Henig's accomodation, he weasels his way out.
  • Intergenerational Friendship: Old Master Georg and little Viktor, whom he calls "little king".
  • Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: It's not clear if Georg Henig's deceased relative are really talking, or it's little Viktor imagining things.
  • Missed Him by That Much: After Viktor's father finally get his coworkers to arrange a pension for Henig so he can keep his house, they break the news to him only to learn that just the day before, Frantov, rejected by his mentor, called the police and convinced him to sign his papers for a nursing home where the conditions are naturally appalling.
  • Plot-Mandated Friendship Failure: Viktor has a falling out with his old friend when he berates him that "a musician (Viktor's father) should be making music, not a buffet (which Viktor's mother wants but the family can't afford one), otherwise hs's a poor man". The boy angrily objects that when the buffet is ready, they'll be rich, but Henig calls his father mad. The neighbor overhears and attacks Henig, but Viktor is still mad and walks away instead of getting help, leading to the old man being wounded.
  • Reasoning with God: Henig does this in his desperation that "man forgot to love each other", giving the Title Drop.
  • Uptown Girl: Viktor's mother was descended from well-off bourgeoisie and is now impoverished following the rise of communism. She's unhappy and wants to have a kitchen buffet as a status symbol.
  • You No Take Candle: Georg Henig speaks broken, but still understandable, Bulgarian.
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