The Goat’s Horn

One aspect of Bulgarian history that has shaped much of it’s culture; past, present and future is the fact that it was part of the Ottoman empire. I can’t claim to be an expert in history but I will recount how this, I believe parallels some of Canadian culture in the way of oppressed groups such as the Aboriginal communities or the Quebecois.

A good movie my girlfriend recently showed me, called the Goat’s Horn (Bulgarian: Козият Рог) was about the personal story of one farmer who had lost his wife to a brutal act of rape and murder by the Ottoman overlords of his village. Bound on revenge, the main character burns the family house with his dead wife and goes off to the hills to live with his daughter, tending goats. He raises his daughter as a boy, teaching her how to fight and wield a knife. Years later, they get their revenge. The story turns around when the daughter, instructed to take the life of her mother’s killer sees him interacting in a human way with his dog and wife.

I won’t give any more away!

What can be said as to parallels, besides the obvious? In cases where grave acts have been committed on the large scale such as the enslavement of a whole population and their systematic assimilation into the lording one, there are also billions of small scale crimes such as rape, murder theft that are not accounted for in history due to the lack of a human story. This movie puts a human story to those small scale crimes so that we can examine how a story of revenge can become one of lost love.

The human desire for power will never cease and therefore neither will large scale acts against humanity, but in remembering what those are we should always put a human face to the story. Otherwise it’s just another history lesson.

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