Click here to watch the YourScreen interview with Cat In the Wall directors Mina Mileva and Vesela Kazakova.
Irina is a Bulgarian ex-pat architect who has set up home in (and paid for) an ex-council flat in a Peckham middle-rise housing block. She’s house-proud, talented, fiercely independent and somewhat scathing of what she sees as the ‘benefit scroungers’ who surround her. She shares her tiny space with young son Jojo and her brother Vladimir, a highly-educated historian reduced to fitting tv satellite dishes for a living. The block is being renovated - a major source of stress for Irina and other owner-occupiers, who will be liable for a share of the costs. The tensions inherent in a situation where a microcosmic cross-section of UK society all live on top of each other are all too obvious, and they explode when a hapless ginger cat, apparently homeless, is adopted by Irina’s family.
Directors Mina Mileva and Vesela Kazakova have an award-winning track record as hard-hitting documentarists, and it shows in the marvellous ‘fly on the wall’ naturalism of their latest film. It’s fiction (albeit based on real events) but the acting (and that includes the cat) is so unperformative that it’s hard to believe we are not watching events as they happen. This includes the delightful touches of humour as well as the more dramatic moments of confrontation between the residents. The default comparison often made in reviews is with the work of Ken Loach. While one can imagine Loach tackling subject matter like this, the approach here is very different - no political soap-boxing, just an incisive examination of individuals caught up in the turmoil of post-Brexit Britain. And the cat? You’ll have to watch to find out how he fares!
“Shot through with intimate love-hate knowledge of its South London turf, this is a funny, frustrated yell from a demographic tired of being talked over.” - Guy Lodge, Variety.
“This terrific comedy-drama… there’s a fresh, naturalistic element to all the performances which makes it feel as though the film was improvised with non-actors, although in fact neither is the case. ” - Wendy Ide, Screen Daily.
“Cat in the Wall is a clever and highly enjoyable drama that really shines a light on some shadowy issues in the home we call ‘broken Britain’.” - Meredith Taylor, Filmuforia.