Archive of films Chertogon / Čertogon

2005, 32 min

Section: East of the West - Out of Competition
Year: 2005

The 19th century. A morose, wealthy man wants to examine the motives of his disinherited sister’s son by taking him to an extravagant nouveau-riche party. After the sudden death of a guest he has humiliated, the man feels the need for repentance and moral purification. In doing so, he also recognises the young man’s selflessness and offers him involvement in his business.


This adaptation of Nikolai Leskov’s story, about the peculiar mentality and morality of merchants at the end of the 19th century, emphasises the contradiction between their external appearance and inner brutality. This caste also includes the grumpy uncle of a poor student, the son of his disinherited sister. He organises a dinner party for 100 of society’s richest in order to test the young man’s motives and character. The party, which leads to an orgy and the devastation of a luxury establishment, is commented on via the inner reflections of this incongruous pair. The sudden death of an uninvited guest who is humiliated by the uncle, forces the coarse yet, in fact, profoundly pious man to seek sincere penance and introspection. The philosophy of the story also arises from the colourful treatment of the spectacle and, in particular, the cast’s realistic performances.


About the director

Andrei Zhelezniakov (b. 1963) graduated in acting at the Theatre Institute in Sverdlovsk (today Yekaterinburg) in 1984; he then chose documentary filmmaking at Moscow’s Film School (VGIK, 1993), continuing in this field of study in Sverdlovsk, where he made the following shorts: Red Pheasant on White Snow (Krasny fazan na byelom snyegu, 1990), Babai-Strasse or Tales of America (Babay-shtrase ili Skazki pro Ameriku, 1992), Heart, You Don’t Want Peace (Serdtse, tyebe ne khochetsya pokoya, 1993), Stove-Maker and Coffin-Maker (Pechnik i grobovshchik, 1995). He made the celebrated film Arrival of the Train (Pribytiye poyezda, 1995) to mark the 100th anniversary of world cinema; this film was also screened in the documentary film competition at the KV IFF in 1996. The half-hour film Chertogon (2005) is his feature debut.


Nikola Film
Krukov kanal 12, 190068, St. Petersburg
Tel: +7 812 714 5717
Fax: +7 812 714 0126

About the film

Color, 35 mm
International premiere

Section: East of the West - Out of Competition
Director: Andrey Zhelezniakov
Screenplay: Andrej Železňakov/Andrei Zhelezniakov
Dir. of Photography: Valerij Makněv/Valery Makhnev
Producer: Igor Kalenov
Production: Nikola Film
Cast: Petr Veliaminov, Jurij Tarasov/Yuriy Tarasov
Contact: Nikola Film


Andrey Zhelezniakov

Film Director

Yury Tarasov



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