The Good Postman

A documentary about a postman who stands for mayor in his dying little village on the Bulgarian border with the plan to regenerate the community by hosting Syrian refugee families. This is met with a mixed reaction, some positive and some negative.

He goes up against the incumbent and this absolute legend of a man who nicks about in trackies, leather jacket and dark specs, and who gives rousing political rallies to an empty field. “No refugees!” he shouts to one man on a cart who accidentally came by. “No refugees!” he shouts to two dogs sniffing each other’s arses. “Skype!” he promises if he’s elected. Communism and Skype.

Despite being the main source of opposition to the resettlement plans, he is so welcome as the comic relief in this film, which is heartsick and sad. The postman does his best for everyone he meets, but he is sowing kindness in a world made of stone.

In many ways his opponent provides the note of hope in this movie, because although he and the postman disagree on how to deal with the influx of refugees, he is at least engaged, he at least cares. He wants to build a better community too, he’s just fearful after years of disappointments that this will be one more blow rather than a resurrection. The incumbent mayor is asked her opinion on the refugee crisis: she has no opinion. What should be done to save the village? She has no opinion. Being mayor is just a job and she just goes to her office to draw her wage. In some ways, the take-away from the film is that those who support and those who oppose refugees have more in common with each other than career politicians just in it for the money. If little else, that’s a place to build from.