La voluntaria

Directed by: Nely Reguera

Marisa is a kind, spirited, recently retired doctor. Wanting to escape her meaningless routines and seemingly endless free time, she travels to Greece to work as a volunteer with child refugees. Once there, Marisa realizes that the managers of the refugee camp deem it more important to obey established rules than to help. Her bosses, who work for the NGO overseeing the camp, seem obsessed with their own importance as would-be saviours, maintaining firm control of the refugee population. They do not allow Marisa to adapt her tutoring to the personal needs of the children. Despite the rules, Marisa takes the initiative, becoming especially attached to Ahmed, a boy traumatized by the disappearance of his parents. An insightful, powerful drama about the limits (and dangers) of altruism, The Volunteer is a moving work that features an astonishing performance by Goya Award-winner Carmen Machi as Marisa.

CAST: Carmen Machi, Itsaso Arana, Dèlia Brufau

English, Spanish
99 min
Get Tickets

[Horák] matches each of the film’s periods to a different style: the 1960s to the Czech New Wave, the 1970s to normalization films, and the 1980s to documentary-like grainy footage. The stylisation enables a fine adjustment of dramatic effects”

(Martin Kudláč, Cineuropa).


  • Bulgarian entry for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 91st Academy Awards 2018
  • Golden Rose Festival of Bulgarian film: Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Actress, Critics Gild Award and Audience Award
Presented By:
Co-Presented By: