When someone mentions Russian Cinema what do you think of? Oh, yes – most probably Tarkovsky’s classics pop up in your mind, maybe some literature references to Dostoevsky and Tolstoy. However, the Eastern cinema has gotten a lot of contemporary plots to offer in the last years. And yet – this cinema feels distant to the Western audience. That is why, Bozar dedicated a three-projection-evening cycle named Russian Turn: Kino, including Q&A with specialists and actors coming all the way from Russia.
“Russian Turn Kino sessions propose to explore rich and uncompromising world of independent Russian cinema with its paradoxes and contradictions. The first series of three piercing films shed light on the human condition and into the struggle of people that choose to follow individual heart athwart their family, multi-ethnic community or the state,’’ said the organisers.
Serdtse mira (Core of the World) – Nataliya Meshchaninova
Introduction by film expert and critic Anzhelika Artukh, a specialist on cine-feminism in Russia.
Russia today. Egor is a 25-year-old veterinarian on a rural farm which doubles as a hunting-dog special training center using domesticated foxes. Egor is a grown man, but deep inside he is a child and it’s easier for him to get along with animals than with people. In desperate need of a controlled environment after a violent past relationship with his mother, all he wants is to care for the animals and to feel part of the close-knit family he works for. When animal rights activists invade this fragile microcosm, throwing off its delicate balance, Egor’s world begins to crumble.
Dovlatov – Alexey German Jr.
Introduction and Q&A by Denis Akhapkin, associate professor at the Faculty of liberal art and sciences at Smolny (St. Petersburg State University), specialized in modern Russian literature.
Dovlatov charts six days in the life of the brilliant, ironic writer Sergei Dovlatov who saw far beyond the rigid limits of 70s Soviet Russia. Together with his friend and poet Joseph, he fought to preserve his own talent and integrity while seeing their artist friends getting crushed by the iron-willed state machinery, which they would later escape by emigrating to New York, losing all they had back home.
Tesnota (Closeness) – Kantemir Balagov
Introduction and Q&A by Joël Chapron, Russian film specialist and an actress Olga Dragunova.
Nalchik, 1998, North Caucasus, Russia. The film follows Ilana, a young woman of Jewish heritage. She is a tomboy who works on cars in her father’s garage, and has little interest in the traditions and religious precepts that her parents adhere to. She is even in a clandestine relationship with a gentile. When Ilana’s brother and his fiancée are kidnapped, her parents have no option but to marry Ilana off to a timid Jew whose family will pay the ransom in return. It comes as no surprise that Ilana is everything but enthusiastic.