Archive of films Babusya / Babusja

2003, 97 min

Section: Official Selection - Competition
Year: 2003

An eternal story of the ingratitude of the young to the old, unfolding in an area of current social transformation in northern Russia. Although kindly grandma Tusya raised her grandkids and gave them a start in life by selling her house, when she’s in need they refuse to provide her with shelter. She spends her only happy days with her sister Anna in the country. 


In a house by a lake, vital Tusya long-sufferingly manages her daughter’s household. When her daughter becomes an invalid years later, her son-in-law Ivan forces the old woman to give her house to her grandchildren and he carts her off to her sister Anna’s. Anna has to deal with her drunkard of a son Vitya, though her daughter Líza is a successful journalist in Moscow. The sisters recall their past, living in harmony with each other and their neighbours. Then Anna breaks her hip and has to go to hospital. The energetic Líza tries to foist Tusya back onto her relatives. Having found himself a new woman, widower Ivan refuses. Her granddaughter’s former husband, who started a business thanks to the sale of her house, doesn’t want her at his luxurious villa. She would also be in the way of her granddaughter’s business at her luxurious apartment. Her grandson Tolik has his own troubles: he lost a brother in Chechnya and his house too, and his daughter Olya has become mute after an explosion. Nonetheless he offers the old woman a temporary roof over her head. But she decides to follow the “voice of an angel.” Before leaving she visits her great granddaughter. Olya calls and wakes her parents: ‘Grandma’s gone!’ Tolik runs out into the freezing night… The episodic plot, interlarded with shots of the northern landscape, offers a cross-section of Russian society and highlights the mentality and characteristic attitudes of people coping with the current economic transformation.

About the director

Lidia Bobrova (b. 1952, Amursk region) first studied history at Leningrad State University (1975), then went on to graduate in screenwriting from Moscow’s VGIK film school (1983) and from the Higher Courses for Directors (1991). Her writer-director films focus on evoking character and the mentality of contemporary country folk, and she often works with amateur actors. She debuted with the short Vzrosleniye (1989). She was commended at festivals for the features Hey, You Geese (Oj, vi, goesi..., 1991) and In That Land (V toj stranie, 1997), in which she sensitively reflected upon the positive and negative aspects of the social transformation of country life. Her latest film Babusya can be viewed as a cross-section of Russian life with its myriad tribulations.


Lenfilm Studios
10 Kamennoostrovsky Prospekt, 197 101, St. Petersburg
Tel: +7 812 326 8224
Fax: +7 812 232 8881

About the film

Color, 35 mm
International premiere

Section: Official Selection - Competition
Director: Lidia Bobrova
Screenplay: Lidija Bobrovová / Lidia Bobrova
Dir. of Photography: Valerij Revič / Valeri Revich
Editor: Taťjána Bystrovová / Tatiana Bystrova
Producer: Andrej Zercalov / Andrei Zertsalov
Production: Lenfilm Studios, koprodukce / coproduction: 3B Production, France
Cast: Nina Šubinová / Nina Shubina, Olga Oniščenko / Olga Onishenko, Anna Ovsjannikovová / Anna Ovsyannikova, Vladimir Kulakov, Sergej Anufrijev / Sergei Anufriev
Contact: Lenfilm Studios


Lidia Bobrova

Film Director

Olga Agrafenina

Film Institution Rep.

Yuri Sergeev

Andrey Zertsalov


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