Time Of Violence (1988; 288 min.) is a MUST WATCH Bulgarian movie based on eyewitness written accounts. In the 17th century, a Bulgarian Christian region is selected by the Ottoman rulers to serve as an example of conversion to Islam. A Janissary who was kidnapped from the village as a boy now serving the Ottoman sultan is sent to force the reluctant inhabitants to convert.
The Bulgarian Christians have to chose between physical annihilation
and losing their spiritual identity. Ultimately torture, violence, and
rebellion break out. Based on real events and the novel Vreme Razdelno (
"Time of Parting") by Anton Donchev.
The novel is based on two individual eyewitness written accounts - by
the priest Aligorko and the Venetian. The resulting text is a
translation of the original French and Old Bulgarian (Old Church
Slavonic) texts. All names, characters and events appear in the original
The year is 1668 AD. The Ottoman Turkish jihad is in its heat in Southeastern Europe.
The Turkish siege of the Venetian fortress of Candia (now Heraklion
in Crete) has been lasting for a second decade now. The Rhodope Mountain
is seen as a strategically important base of the war but its Christian
population is a potential source of instability. The sultan orders its
conversion into "the right faith".
The sacred forests and valleys, where according to the legend Orpheus
was born, now screams under the yataghans enforcing the foreign creed
in blood and fires.
A corps of janissaries is commissioned to the Rhodope Mountains under
the command of Kara Ibrahim. At the time, he was, as all the janissaries
were, kidnapped from his Bulgarian family, raised as a Muslim, trained
to be a ferocious warrior and convert infidels to Islam in a most brutal
way. His cruelty stuns even local Ottoman ruler.
He stops at nothing but the resistance of some of the locals is
invincible. The struggle is half a success, there are many converts, the
death toll is heavy, but all the Bulgarian keep their language and
Most of the Balkans were under the thumb of the Ottoman empire.
Ottoman empire was showing its ugliest face during this period in
Balkans. Bulgaria was a strategically important area inhabited by
unreliable Christian subjects. The sultan decided that they must all
convert to Islam, or die. Time of Violence focuses on the fate of one
valley during this crisis. The son of the miller was taken off by the
Turks years ago, while still a boy, to become a janissary. Janissaries
were special troops used by the Ottomans.
Recruited (involuntarily) from Christian boys, they were separated
from their families at an early age, indoctrinated in Islam, and turned
into fiercely reliable troops with no allegiance to anyone but the
sultan. The miller's son is now a highly trusted janissary, with the
task of converting his entire home valley to Islam. But the people there
take their religion very seriously, and will not submit.
The janissary becomes more and more brutal in his attempts to convert
the valley, for he must slaughter them all if they don't take the