Konstantin Lopushanskiy – Rol AKA The Role (2013)

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“The Role” is about a brilliant actor in revolutionary Russia who takes on the greatest role of his life — the role of another man. Influenced by the ideas of symbolism and the Silver Age, he decides to slip into the life of his doppelganger – a revolutionary leader in the new Soviet Russia. First intrigued, then obsessed, he flings himself into the role and lives it to the hilt… even when the play of the life he is writing heads towards a tragic finale. Based on true incidents in the lives of Russia’s symbolists, this gripping film explores how far one man will go for the role of a lifetime. Continue reading

Ivan I. Tverdovskiy – Zoologiya AKA Zoology (2016)

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Writer-director Ivan I. Tverdovsky s prize-winning sophomore feature (Special Prize of the Jury at Karlovy Vary Film Festival, Best Picture at Fantastic Fest) deftly mixes the deadpan humour of Aki Kaurismäki with a poignant examination of social issues including loneliness and aging.

Middle-aged zoo worker Natasha still lives with her mother in a small coastal town. As she struggles for independence, she has to endure the absurd reality of her life filled with gossip spread by the women around her. She is stuck and it seems that life has no surprises for her until one day… she grows a tail. Embarrassed at first, Natasha decides to go further with the transformation and use it as an opportunity to redefine herself as a person and as a woman. With the new “accessory” she gets access to the life that she has never experienced before – she starts a relationship with a man, who finds her attractive, she goes out and allows herself to be foolish for the first time in her life. But her second puberty eventually comes to an end and Natasha has to make a choice between reality and illusion … Continue reading

Valeriy Todorovskiy – Podmoskovnye Vechera AKA Katya Ismailova (1994)

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A wife finds her life transformed after a torrid affair in this story of murder. Katia is a rather dull young woman who types manuscripts for Irina, her husband’s mother and successful writer of romance novels. Katia’s husband is a real momma’s boy. They go to Irina’s summer house to work. There Katia encounters the intense and sexy Serguei who creates passionate longings with in her. Overcome she and Serguei engage in vigorous love-making upon a windowsill where Irina sees them. Irina has a weak heart. Quiet Katia, having rediscovered the joys of sex, changes and becomes more assertive and flighty. Serguei quickly loses interest in her. Strange and deadly things begin happening at the summer house which calls the attention of a judge who is extremely familiar with Irina’s writing. ~ Sandra Brennan, Rovi Continue reading

Kirill Serebrennikov – Uchenik AKA Student (2016)

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Contemporary Russia. A high school student becomes convinced that the world has been lost to evil, and begins to challenge the morals and beliefs of the adults around him.

The original Russian title “(M)uchenik”, with the ‘m’ in parentheses, is a play on words, a pun, combining the Russian word “muchenik”, which means “martyr”, with the Russian word “uchenik”, which means “student”. Because the Russian pun would not be understood, and there is no way to translate it, the simplified title “Uchenik”, or “The Student”, was used at the Cannes Film Festival 2016.

The first Russian production of a play by German playwright Marius von Mayenburg. The main character, schoolboy Veniamin, thinks he knows everything about moral standards — how to follow it, how to protect it, what’s good and what’s bad. His behavior is becoming a serious challenge for everyone. Where’s the border between morality and intolerance, freedom and permissiveness, religion and manipulation, sermon and terrorism? Continue reading

Aleksey Fedorchenko – Angely revolyutsii AKA Angels of Revolution (2014)

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Five friends – a poet, an actor, a painter, an architect and a primitivist film director – are five red avant-garde artists who try to find the embodiment of their hopes and dreams in the young Soviet state. The Revolution is boiling up like a bottle with apple cider: winged service dogs and heart-shaped potatoes, dead Semashko, the People’s Commissar for Health, and cheerful angels, love for the Tsar and love for the young secretary Annushka, executions and pregnancies – everything is interlaced and inseparable! Continue reading

Vitaliy Manskiy – V paprscích slunce AKA Under the Sun (2015)

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Deckert Distribution:

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This is a film about the ideal life in an ideal country – North Korea. We see a girl in an ideal school, the daughter of ideal parents, working at ideal factories, living in an ideal apartment in the center of the capital. We can see how much effort the North Korean people have to undertake to make this ideal world work. The girl is being prepared to enter the children’s union to be a part of the ideal society, living in the eternal rays of the sun, the symbol of the great leader of the people, Kim Il-sung. Continue reading