Sunday, 6 November 2011
Russian 'portraits' praised
Russian film has been recently gaining in popularity across the world, receiving accolades from film buffs and professionals. Two Russian dramas have been awarded at the 21st film festival in the south of Germany, in Cottbus. Twilight Portrait by New-York-based director Angelina Nikonova has scooped the Grand Prix of the festival, while the creator of Gromozeka, Vladimir Kott, was praised for his directorial effort. The Russian drama about the conundrum of psychological and sexual relations between a rape victim and her abuser had its world premiere at the venerable Venice Film Festival earlier this year. Twilight Portrait focuses on controversial, rather ambiguous relations between a married, well-to-do young female social worker, and a policeman who was possibly among a group of officers who raped her. After the success in Venice, the film has already been screened at some of the world's most far-reaching venues, including the Toronto International Film Festival. If Twilight Portrait is about a woman's psychology, Gromozeka explores men's interests and lifestyles. The film revolves around three old school friends who, over the years, grew apart and their dreams faded away. Now middle-aged, each is stuck with his own problems: a police officer who keeps getting overlooked for promotion; a taxi driver and his estranged daughter, a surgeon balancing between his wife and mistress. Gromozeka's director was praised for painting a picture of ruined dreams and bleak future for his characters, however doing so with a twist of irony and a nostalgic, Soviet feel.