US filmmaker Quentin Tarantino, who heads the jury of the Venice Film Festival this year, has highly appreciated Russian film "Silent Souls" ("Ovsyanki") by Alexei Fedorchenko calling it a really poetic story. The film has won three awards in Venice, which guarantees the start of the European distribution already in October.
First of all the jury distinguished the work of the film's cameraman Mikhail Kirchman granting him the "Ozella" prize for the best film photography. Seven years ago Kirchman contributed to the success of another Russian film in Venice - "The Return" by Andrei Zvyagintsev. That film received the festival's main award - the Golden Lion.
According to the director of "Silent Souls" Alexei Fedorchenko, Mikhail Krichman has a gift to fill even a plain foreground with deep content. This is the main reason why the jury named the film a poetical movie.
He is a demiurge, he creates a world instead of simply capturing an image. I can't understand how it happens. It seems that the chosen landscape has nothing special but once Mikhail press the button of his camera - the picture is filling with vehement sadness and vehement love.
The brilliant camerawork is not the only quality, which distinguishes the film. It has received two more awards - the FIPRESCI award of the International Federation of Film Critics and the Nazareno Taddei Award, which is the prize of the ecumenical jury for spirituality.
Mixing the realistic present and fictional past the filmmaker Alexei Fedorchenko and screenwriter Denis Osokin managed to speak about everlasting things. When trying to define the genre of the film they first spoke about an erotic drama but later came up with more precise definition of "ethnographic mystification". The film's producer Igor Mishin considers "Silent Souls" to be a film for viewing audience mainly thanks to an ethnographic component.
This ethnographic component is a kind of a package or cover for this film. Some of our people remember that their roots go back to Finno-Urgic tribes dissolved in the Russian nation 400 years ago. This is the idea of the story. The sentiments of these people can be understood by anyone. Everyone knows that when you lose a beloved or close person the whole world turns upside down. Despite a number of tragic events its is a bright story which gives people hope.
"Silent Souls" is a road-movie telling a story of the factory chief who takes his friend and two buntings he bought on a trip to give his deceased wife a made-up Finno-Urgic tribe ritual burial, telling the story of their relationship on the way through flashbacks. In the European distribution the film will be called "Tatiana's Last Journey". The original Russian name of the movies is "Ovsyanki" which means "Buntings" and these little birds play a very important role in the story guiding the heroes to the mystical world. These birds are the only witnesses of the story from the very beginning to the very end.
This is Fedorchenko's second participation in the Venice film festival. The first film by the Yekaterinburg director "First on the Moon" fooled the jury and was awarded the best documentary prize at that festival, even though it was a mockumentary telling the story of how Soviet people were the first on the moon in 1938.
The three awards for "Silent Souls" is a good pass to the world's screen. After Venice the film will be shown at the international film festivals in Vladivostok and Toronto and the world first screening will take place in Paris.
The Voice of Russia