Belgian Movie Fans Nationalist Anti-LGBT Hatred in Bulgaria

People attending the Pride Parade in Sofia, Bulgaria, 18 June 2022. Photo: EPA-EFE/VASSIL DONEV

On Thursday, the movie, telling the semi-autobiographical story of two 13-year old boys whose friendship turns sour after homophobic remarks at their school, will be screened in Sofia's Odeon hall.

This will be a second effort after last Saturday's planned showing was cancelled out of security concerns, after nationalists blocked the entrance of the cinema, claiming the movie promotes paedophilia. 

The screening is part of the Sofia Pride Film Festival, ahead of Sofia Pride this Saturday, which is seen by right-wing protesters as a threat to Bulgaria's national identity and values. 

The police failed to calm down the altercation between the moviegoers and the protesters, mostly decorated in nationalist symbols and t-shirts with the logo of the pro-Russian Revival party.

"A crowd of protesters entered the cinema, started taking pictures of the audience, shouting 'paedophiles' and instilling fear in them and the staff. Police did not stop them. Instead, they shook their hands," reported the Instagram profile of Sofia Pride. 

"After everything that happened last Saturday, we were made aware there's been an internal checkup on the police's actions," human rights lawyer Denitsa Lyubenova, part of the "Deystvie" organisation, one of the NGOs behind Sofia Pride, told BIRN. 

"On Thursday, we'll have a meeting with the Minister of Interior so we can be informed what actions have been taken and how the security of Sofia Pride can be improved. We're also filing a complaint to the Prosecution," added Lyubenova. 

As things were calming down in Sofia and as other movies were presented without a problem, another screening of Close...

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