Tsanko Petrov (Stefan Denolyubov), a railroad worker, finds a money scattered all over the train tracks and decides to turn it in to the police. Julia Staikova (Margita Gosheva), the head of the Ministry of Transport's public relations department, sees that as an opportunity to improve their image by presenting Tsanko with award for his kind deed. She invites him to a press conference where he's present with a digital wristwatch after his Glory wristwatch, a family heirloom, is removed. The digital watch eventually stops working. Retrieving his precious wristwatch back from the Ministry and getting the attention of Julia proves to be increasingly frustrating and challenging. Investigative journalist Kiril Kolev (Milko Lazarov) helps him to go on live TV to complain about his stolen wristwatch, but requires him to talk about the Ministry's corruption involving stolen diesel.
Part satire, drama and slow-burning thriller, Glory is intelligent, biting and quietly powerful. The first image in the film is a close-up of Tsanko's wristwatch, an integral part of the plot while also becoming a symbol of Tsanko's dignity and humanity. The Ministry of Transport care more about themselves and their image above everything else. Margita Gosheva is perfectly cast as Julia who comes across as an icy, inconsiderate and self-centered human being. Tsanko looks unkempt and suffers from a stammer, but he has much more humanity than Julia She looks down on Tsanko and uses him during the awards ceremony to her own benefit. The way she handles the PR nightmare after Tsanko goes public with his demands to get his wristwatch back also reflects her lack of compassion and genuine empathy. She exhibits many signs of narcissism, although one could argue that she's merely an unfortunate product of her corrupt, shallow political and socioeconomic environment.
The strength in the screenplay by co-writers/directors Kristina Grozeva and Petar Valchanov as well as co-writer Decho Taralezhkov lies in its ability to blend realism with sociopolitical commentary while not being afraid to veer into dark territory. The tension builds gradually---this isn't an edge-of-your-seat, nail-biting thriller, but you can nonetheless feel Tsanko's pain and anger throughout his desperate struggle to retrieve his wristwatch. That anger boils to the surface in a way that's organic and believable while leading to climax that's one of the most shocking, bold, disturbing and haunting endings in recent memory.