Passions (1994) has a slightly different program: Accompany a pack of extroverted, sub-Fellini nutlogs to a horse farm, where they prance, vamp, and blabber about horses, love, and life. “It’s like somebody nudges me and whispers: Ask them—will they bear it?” one character says, summarizing Muratova’s strategy. Photographed in uncharacteristically lush colors, Passions won an indulgent Russian Oscar.
Since her groundbreaking The Asthenic Syndrome came out in 1989 Kira Muratova has made a feature every two years on average. One of them, Passions (1994), even won her a Nika, the Russian equivalent of an Oscar. Critic Ruslan Janumyan has noted that this luscious color film fulfills “most people’s expectations of what an `art film’ should be, with a lot of good looking people hanging out on the beach, talking about life, death, and love,” but it still displays all the screwy attributes of her other postglasnost features: minimal plot, maniacal repetition of a few lines of dialogue (which initially sound absurdist but ultimately register as hyperrealist), an unorthodox style of editing punctuated by jump cuts, a special feeling and fascination for animals (in this case, racehorses and circus dogs), and a highly aggressive, physical, and declamatory style of acting, by professionals and nonprofessionals alike.
Subtitles: English, German, French (.srt)