A small Bulgarian village on the Turkish border is slowly fading away; more and more people are moving or dying and there are very few births. Refugees from Syria and elsewhere pass through the area and are watched closely by the remaining residents and the border guards.

Ivan, the local postman, wants to find a way to save the village. He comes up with the idea of running for mayor and initiating a program designed to bring Syrian families to the village. Adults could attend to the fields, and children could go to a rebuilt school. Ivan shares his bold idea with members of the community as he delivers the mail to them.

Another citizen decides to run for mayor as a Communist. He believes that his political leadership can revive the village to its old glory days. His prejudice against the refugees spreads and soon there is talk about the bad things that could happen if they let in the outsiders, who are rumored to be worse than gypsies. Both men are surprised by the outcome of the mayoral race.

Director Tonislav Hristov does a fine job showing the effects of hatred, fear, and distrust of the Syrian refugees. Bigotry becomes especially toxic when given expression in hurting communities where poverty, hunger, and inequality are rampant. The Good Postman is a thought-provoking portrait of the barriers being built all over the world to protect communities from perceived threats.

The Good Postman was presented as part of the Human Rights Watch Film Festival in New York City 2017.