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Series / Patriarchy

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Patriarchy (Bulgarian: Патриархат [Patriar'khat]) is a 2005 mini-series about the coming of communism into the fictional village of Yugla around World War II.

The fates of characters from all social strata are turned round or destroyed as the patriarchal spirit is replaced by that of the new age.

The story is told through the eyes of Rangel "Ran" Hinov, a film director who was born in the village during these events and is now returning to make a feature film about them.


  • Deliberately Monochrome: Zigzagged. All scenes during the events are shot in color and always in warm tones. Present-day Ran is shown in color when he's walking around the village and narrating, but characters of his father's generation (including his father) around the same time have their scenes shot in blue-tinted grayscale, to underline the depressing life under communist rule.
  • End of an Era: The whole premise of the series. The communist insurgency and coup and the following nationalization, accompanied by communists becoming dictators and murdering any opposition results in breaking the village's spirit and traditions and the spread of fear and alienation.
    Ran: (when the whole village gathers for a festival and a circle dance for the last time before the war) Afterwards, there would be many rallies, banquets and parties. But in Yugla, there was never to be another celebration.
  • Full-Circle Revolution: The poorest of the communists steals and murders his way to the top, installing himself as an Evil Overlord who possesses more riches than the wealthy "bourgeoisie" he hated ever did.
  • Non-Indicative Name: The title of the series refers to the old societal order of "patriarchy", but what is meant is the lifestyle relying on close-knit communities consisting of nuclear families (in Bulgarian called "patriarchal families"), a lifestyle which died down after the advent of communism. The author looks at those simpler times with nostalgia, regretting how the warmth and spirit are taken away from the people of Yugla.
  • Opening Narration: Courtesy of Ran. In the first episode, he narrates his own birth.
  • The Revolution Will Not Be Civilized: The usual romanticized portrayal of this trope is deconstructed. The communists who seize power are all either hardline dictators, power-hungry, murderous opportunists, or hollow shells who murder their kin for vengeance. Those with a stronger moral compass get killed for objecting to the new regime's brutаlity.
  • Rooting for the Empire: In-Universe, Ran looks with nostalgia at the time before the rebels seized power. Bulgaria was an autocratic monarchy (reluctantly) allied to Nazi Germany, but life before the communist coup is portrayed as pretty normal and even happy, in contrast to the bleak and cruel times afterwards.
  • Trash the Set: An In-Universe example. The water mill was blown up in 1936 by Bondov and co., but when Ran returns, he has it restored for the movie, only to pull off this trope. Old Mr. Kraev, who used to be a technician at the mill, thinks it's being repaired for real after all these years and is saddened to see it burn down for a second time.