A cinematic virtuoso, Russia's Andrey Zvyagintsev, has picked up a Special Jury Prize for his latest drama Elena, which was screened at the world's most prestigious film festival, at Cannes.
Elena invokes emotions and moods that lie within human nature and can be hard to cope with or withstood. It is a work of art with worldwide appeal, reflecting on fears, senses and morals.
The Russian film relates to a middle-aged couple, Elena and Vladimir, coming from different walks of society. He is a well-off businessman. She is a former medical worker, now a housewife. Each has children from previous marriages: Elena's son is permanently unemployed, with a wife and two children living off Elena's donations from her pension and her husband's support. Vladimir's daughter Katya is also quite hard to deal with – she has a tough character, living her life to the full. Having met quite late in their life and now ten years into the marriage, Elena and Vladimir still seem to share some common language. Experience, however, means conflict, and conflict means drama.