One of the most trailblazing contemporary directors, the creator of The Return, Andrey Zvyagintsev, will have his latest film, Elena, premiered at the world’s largest and most-influential film festival, at Cannes.
The plot of the movie has been kept secret. What is known is that it revolves around a middle-aged woman in the thick of complicated relationships with her son, husband and daughter-in-law.
The 47-year-old Siberian-born director, Zvyagintsev, was a professional theater actor before he began making films. Authenticity on stage, on screen, has always come first to the actor-tuned-director who did not let his actors read the entire script of his film in order for it to be convincing.
His low-budget debut drama The Return was a runaway success in Russia and overseas, having picked up more than 40 international awards, including two Golden Lions at Venice in 2003.
His second feature, The Banishment, received the Best Actor award at the Cannes Film Festival in 2007.
Elena is Zvyagitsnev’s third feature, and according to the director, his most realistic film to date.
Both previous films focused on the psychology of human relationships as cinema for Zvyagintsev is “a means of making breakthroughs, discoveries about myself and others.”
The discovery of the Russian drama on the French Riviera is scheduled to take place on May 21st, at the closing ceremony of Un Certain Regard program.