The film is based on Ryunosuke Akutagawa’s story “In a Grove” which takes place during the times of Tsar Alexander II. A lady-in-waiting tells the Emperor in his bedroom a metaphysical story about a 13th century prince who is killed in the woods under mysterious circumstances. Fairy tale characters who have witnessed the terrible death, all share their version of the events, gradually shedding light on what really happened.
For his new film, the legendary Russian filmmaker and artist Rustam Khamdamov adapted Ryūnosuke Akutagawa’s In a Grove (1922), a classic short story which had already inspired Akira Kurosawa’s masterpiece Rashomon (1950). Khamdamov sets this story of the unknowability of truth within a frame story that takes place at the Court of Czar Alexander II. A female courtier, played by iconic Russian film star Svetlana Nemolyaeva, tells the czar a fairy tale about his son’s murder, and we see three different versions of this event. Which is true?
The Bottomless Bag, shot in stunning, radiant black-and-white and named after one of the stories in A Thousand and One Nights, takes place by turns at the Court, in palatial rooms and in a grove where the murder takes place. Khamdamov loads his narrative with references to European culture and silent cinema as well as Russian mythology. Baba Yaga – a witch from Russian legends – is played by tragedienne Alla Demidova. Exuberant and ironic, this film is like a magic box, full of secrets, dreams and truly cinematic jewels. – International Film Festival Rotterdam
3.76GB | 1 h 40 min | 1280×720 | mkv