Monday, 12 September 2011

Russian Faust to bare his soul in London

The Russian presence in London will be as large as ever this autumn with a number of Russian films taking part in the London International Film Festival, including Aleksandr Sokurov’s award-winning Faust. The drama, which won the Golden Lion award in Venice earlier in September, was praised by film buffs and the jury, helmed by Black Swan director Darren Aronofsky, who described the film as “mind-blowing”. Made in German with German actors in the leads, Faust marks the final chapter in Sokurov’s tetralogy about the uneasy relations between man and power that once began with Moloch about Hitler, continued with Taurus about Lenin, then climaxed with The Sun about Japanese Emperor Hirohito. Among the cream of the crop of Russian movies to be played in London will also be a film from the creator of The Return, Andrey Zvyagintsev, whose psychological drama Elena picked up the Special Jury Prize at Cannes earlier this year. One of the most important and powerful Russian films of the decade is set in modern-day Moscow, with its fears and morals, sense and sensibility, crime and punishment in the 21st century. Twilight Portrait – a Russian drama about the conundrum of psychological and sexual relations between a rape victim and her abuser – will be screened at the 55th BFI The film, from New York-based Russian-born director Angelina Nikonova, received very positive feedback from film critics in Russia and Venice. The documentary program of the large-scale British festival will feature a drama about the fearless Russian journalist Anna Politkovskaya, who was gunned down in her apartment block in downtown Moscow in October 2006. The film director has known Anna Politkovskaya's family for three decades, and her film paints an in-depth portrait of a woman who had a heart of gold and felt people's pain more keenly than her own. The creator of the film is one of the most renowned documentary-makers, Los Angeles-based Marina Goldovskaya, whose credits include 28 award-winning productions. The 90-minute feature entitled A Bitter Taste of Freedom will be submitted for consideration for the 84th Academy Awards by the International Documentary Association.

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