Lilyana Kirilova Pinkas and Mayer Moisey Pinkas at the villa in the village of Staro selo, near Sofia
My wife Lilyana Kirilova Pinkas (her maiden name is Mandicheva) and my brother Mayer Moisey Pinkas at the villa in the village of Staro selo, near Sofia. The picture was taken in June 1987.
When my father died in 1945 he was 56, while Mum was 41, alone and with three children. They didn't make difference between the children from his first marriage and us - we were equal and we felt each other as real brothers. The younger son [Mayer Moisey Pinkas] from his first wife died of cancer - he was a very good technician, he had golden hands as we say. For a long period of time he was denied his request to start working for the military complex in Israel, because he had been a member of the Union of Young Workers in Bulgaria. Finally they accepted him. After that, I remember him showing me some magazines where they praised him for something. The elder brother [Yakov Moisey Pinkas] did not have any profession. In 1948 he started working something in the accountancy department of ZHITI factory (for iron and wire). His wife was economist and in 1949 they decided to move to Israel.
[In 1961] I was in the variety show until Sharleto [the cinema director Lyubomir Sharlandjiev] invited me as an assistant director for his first film 'Chronicles of the Feelings'. So I worked there for five months and after that I found myself jobless again. After that I was an assistant to the director Georgi Alurkov. Then I got a permanent job with the film center as an assistant director. The Piskov family [cinema directors Irina Aktasheva and Hristo Piskov] invited me as a second director for 'Monday Morning'. After that I became a man of age - over 40 years - and I said to myself: is the assistant director's job something I would like to do - to co-ordinate actors, to find people, to organize mass scenes. No, it wasn't for me. So I started searching for topics for shorts and popular science films. And I found my place in the Sofia Studio for Popular Science Films where I worked until retirement. I worked there although one of the directors there, Chukovski, was a kind of an anti-Semite. I made between 20 and 30 films and I retired in 1987.
My Jewish origin was not an obstacle, because I haven't put much emphasis on it. When Bulgaria cancelled its diplomatic relationships with Israel I attended a gathering where a lot of bullshit was said - but what could one do - you had to listen. My daughter was not allowed to go to Israel when she graduated from the high school - they were afraid she was to marry there. But when she got married in Bulgaria she was allowed to go there together with her husband. It happened before 1989. We hardly brought her up in accordance with the Jewish traditions. Now she lives in America together with her two daughters. Her ex-husband is in Sofia and works as a tradesman. They got divorced. She is now looking after her children and he is looking after me. We haven't observed the Jewish traditions. We may have eaten matzah from time to time. I have occasionally visited the synagogue.