Columbia University in the City of New York

Harriman Institute

Film poster. Blue background with face that says "Morality is Goodness". Image links to event page.



Film Screening & Discussion. Morality is Goodness
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Please join the Bulgarian Consulate in New York, the East Central European Center, and the Harriman Institute for a screening of Morality is Goodness, followed by a hybrid discussion with director Veselin Dimanov and Professor Mila Ganeva, Miami University, Ohio. Moderated by Valentina Izmirlieva.

The film “Morality is Goodness” follows the life path of legal scholar and public intellectual Prof. Christian Takov against the background of historical events of the last decades in Bulgaria. Professor Takov has been one of the most prominent figures in rule of law debates in Bulgaria and has drawn on his research and ideas to reflect on the relationship between morality and the law. His work and public statements shone a merciless light on the challenges encountered on the path to establish rule of law, but also gave hope to those who treasure democracy.

The film presents numerous painstakingly researched and previously unpublished archival footage and documents, as well as a series of interviews with the family, colleagues, friends and collaborators of Prof. Takov. Taken together, they successively build the image of the famous lawyer, intellectual and public figure and open a door to his world.

Despite its positive message, the documentary has faced obstacles in distribution in Bulgaria. It has been refused by some film distribution companies and a university, which later agreed to screen it after public pressure. As a result, the film has been mainly distributed through private initiatives in Bulgaria and around the world.

Veselin Dimanov was born on August 12, 1989, in Plovdiv. He has been working as a freelance journalist since 2016 when he co-founded the youth media “The Voice of Young People” with a group of journalism students. The online media reached nearly two million readers within two years. During this period, Veselin interviewed Bulgarian public figures, politicians, and journalists, including Christian Takov. Cinema and screenwriting have been his dream and passion since his student years. “Morality is Goodness” is his debut full-length documentary film inspired by the life and work of Prof. Christian Takov.

Mila Ganeva is a professor of German and affiliate member of the Film Studies and Jewish Studies Programs at Miami University in Ohio. She has published numerous articles on fashion journalism, fashion photography, the history of modeling, beauty pageants, film, and film history. Her books include Women in Weimar Fashion: Discourses and Displays in German Culture, 1918-1933 (2008), Film and Fashion Amidst the Ruins of Berlin: Between Nazism and Cold War, 1939-1953 (2018), and an edited volume of collected articles by Helen Hessel: Ich schreibe aus Paris. Über die Mode, das Leben und die Liebe (2014). Mila Ganeva was born and raised in Sofia, Bulgaria. She was a friend and classmate of Christian Takov at the German Language Highschool and a graduate of Sofia University.


Official Trailer