In the Valley Of Guns & Roses

In the Valley Of Guns & Roses

1 x 25 minute documentary for Al Jazeera English ‘Witness’

In the heart of Bulgaria’s Rose Valley, Irina is desperate to give her four-year-old daughter, Stefi, a better start in life.

She is struggling single mother, working two jobs to put food on the table. Her main source of income comes from her dangerous work at a weapons factory where she measures and packs gunpowder into artillery shells.

Struggling to pay the rent, bills, and Stefi’s kindergarten fees, she moves out of her parents’ rural village to be closer to her work – despite not knowing whether she can afford it.

Her only respite is singing, a talent taught to her by her late grandfather, which she uses to sing for extra money in local restaurants.

But as the rent and bills stack up, Irina is forced to take on a third job offering high-interest loans to equally desperate friends and family.

This is an intimate story about poverty and the price a mother is prepared to pay to ensure a better life for her child.

Commissioning Editor / Executive Producer for Al Jazeera English
Fiona Lawson-Baker
Producer / Director / Camera / Sound
Simon Hipkins
Associate Producer / Research
Dominic Hipkins
Associate Producer / Translator
Elena Fuchedzhieva
Assistant Director / Production Assistant / Translator
Daniela Yordanova
Transcriptions / Translations
Petya Rousseva
Lora Taseva
Radina Choleva
Ariadna Fatjo-Vilas
Simon Hipkins
Additional Editing
Mariko Monpetit
Music and Sound Mix
David McAulay
Special thanks
Irina Deneva
Stefi Petrova
Ivan Yanev
Maria Moeva