Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Women in Film: Nevéna Kókanova

By Olivia Maria Hărşan

Known as the 'First Lady of Bulgarian Cinema', Nevéna Kókanova began acting when she was 18 at the Yambol Theatre in Bulgaria. Appearing in over 30 pictures throughout the span of her career, Kókanova was lauded for mastering the expressive technique, revealing a deep sense of passion and strength on screen and captivating audiences. Perhaps she gained her craft as a consequence of her personal afflictions - her father was a political prisoner and this weighed heavily on her name. Today the Bulgarian beauty is most remembered for her role in Nikola Korabov's adaptation of Dimitar Dimov's novel of the same name, Tobacco/ Tyutyun (1962) - 1963 Official Selection Cannes Film Festival - and Vulo Radev's The Peach Thief (1964), the story of a forbidden love affair between a Serbian prisoner of war and a Colonel's wife. Kókanova died in her nation's capital of Sofia in 2000, leaving behind an impressive and influential example of female resilience and power.

Kókanova in Tobacco (1962)

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