It will be more difficult to describe Emo and probably that is why he is the last to be described.
In June 2013 he will finish 8th grade at school. His face is serious and reveals certain maturity, but his height is of a child and he seems much younger than his schoolmates. It is difficult to describe him, because he lives perhaps at the lowest social step in the Roma neighborhood – in the ghetto along the river, in a shack called “house”. His parents are illiterate, living sluggishly and encapsulated. When he was asked “Suppose you can choose a place to live, what choice would you make?” he replied “Well, I stay home…, I don’t mind the mud – I was born here”… His days go by in futile staying at school – he does not even have a notebook, playing football with the other children in the neighborhood and occasionally helping his father with temporary odd jobs such as picking cherries, breaking nuts, mending roofs. On the one hand, he looks doomed and on the other hand, he is happy in a way incomprehensible for us, “the intelligent”.
His class teacher Eli Iordanova tries to take him under her wing like mother. She talks every day with him. She walks in her elegant shoes the muddy path from the school to the river almost every week, in order to meet his parents and try to grasp their problems. She often brings some clothes for him, because lack of clothes is one of the regular excuses for his absence from lessons, but they refuse to take them. There is a special dignity in these people – they do not accept charity. That’s what attracted us to Emo, when we saw him for the first time. Many of the children at his age crowded us shouting “Ma’m, give me 20 stotinki” or “Hey man, buy me a wafer”, while Emo, who lives in the bottom of all bottoms, does not want anything. In order to win him over to our side, we regularly tried “to bribe” him, for we expected it to be easy. He refused everything. One day, we almost forced a bottle of Coca Cola in his hands, which he even did not drink up. When we finished shooting, we took him to lunch. He ate 2 meat balls with us – it was like a ritual of admission.