Wednesday, 20 April 2011

Vitali Kanevsky: Freeze Die Come to Life - Замри - умри - воскресни! (1989)

Directed by Vitali Kanevsky.
Starring Dinara Drukarova, Pavel Nazarov, Yelena Popova.


* Camera d'Or - Vitaly Kanevsky - 1990 Cannes Film Festival
* Best Screenplay - Vitaly Kanevsky - 1990 European Film Academy
* Special Mention - Pavel Nazarov - 1990 European Film Academy


* Best Foreign Film - 1990 Independent Spirit Awards
* Film Presented - 1990 Telluride Film Festival

Two children living in a remote mining town in the distant wastes of Siberia in 1947, survive poverty and hardship through the warmth of their friendship and a shared sense of humour. ...

It is difficult to discern a structure of metaphor and meaning in Vitaly Kanevskii's perplexingly varied and intricately revealed setting. The bleak landscape of the Far Eastern town of Suchan, where he himself lived in childhood and which he chose as the setting for the greater portion of his two autobiographical films, Zamri, umri, voskresni! (Freeze, Die, Come to Life!, 1989) and Samostoiatel'naia zhizn' (An Independent Life, 1992) evokes a remarkable ambivalence.

Kanevskii confronts the viewer with a portrait of the eastern Primore (Coastal) district in the post-war years that, paradoxically, evokes the simultaneous extremes of recognition and incomprehension. This is at once a fragmented pastiche of memories and a cohesive and believable reality, a world unlike any imaginable and a mode of existence frighteningly familiar to those who understand the word "Zone" in its particular Stalinist-Soviet context. As a consequence, we are repulsed and confused by Kanevskii's conception of "place" and fascinated by its undeniable credibility as a past we know. ...

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