How Coca-Cola Broke through the Iron Curtain
Screening and discussion
Documentary film, Bulgaria 2006
0:54, In Bulgarian with English subtitles
Authors: Irina Nedeva, Evgenia Atanassova and Damjan Petrov
Camera: Venzizar Milenkov
Producer: Bulgarian National Television (BNT), Channel 1, 2006
This is a story of a battle – the battle between the propaganda type of so called planned economy and the free market economy, a battle between the ideological communist society and the entrepreneur spirit. It is the story of how Coca-Cola has entered Bulgaria during the time of communist regime in the mid sixties.
Until 1965 the communist propaganda described Coca-Cola as an alcoholic drink for American soldiers. Surprisingly Bulgaria happened to be the very first socialist country where the softdrink has succeeded to break the ideological rules by having a trade contract and opening bottling factories. The contract was made possible due to the initiative of Toncho Michajlov, who contacted the Coca-Cola Company in 1965 during a stay in Paris.
The documentary shows the unknown sides of communist history and the Cold War. It is based on unique historical materials: a video and a film on super 8 mm from 1965 as well as print documents from the ex-secret services archives. The documents reveal a truly unknown story which is viewed not only from the perspective of the West but also from the point of view of the Bulgarians who where involved in the events.