Archive of films Moscow / Moskva

2000, 145 min

Section: East of the West
Year: 2001


Director Alexander Zeldovich had this to say about his film: “There are six characters in the film – three men and three women. Each of them is reminiscent of some character from Chekhov: Irina is like Ranevskaya, Mike is like Lopakhin, Mark is similar to both Dr Astrov and Uncle Vanya, and the three women taken as a whole are like the three sisters.” Screenwriter Vladimir Sorokin commented: “The nineties were such a stormy and strange decade that it isn’t possible to analyse them without a certain distance. Chekhov and the new (for me) film language offer a mirror indispensable for creating an artistic reflection of the period. In essence, the Russian world has changed very little since Chekhov’s day. If the characters from Moscow were to sit at a table with their prototypes from Three Sisters or The Cherry Orchard they would easily find a common language. This film reminds me of a dream: it is about people who live in the space of dreams. If we speak of the Moscow of the nineties, then we are speaking of a very lively phase of the eternal Russian dream.”

About the director

Alexander Zeldovich (b. 1958, Moscow) graduated in psychology from Moscow State University (1980) and from the Higher Courses for Scriptwriters and Directors (1986). In addition to his film career he has worked as a psychologist in Moscow hospitals. Short films: At Night, Through the City (Nochiu po gorodu, 1983), The Kids (Mayva, 1984 – inspired by M. Gorky) and The Amazon (Voitelnitsa, 1986 – inspired by N. Leskov). His feature debut was entitled Sunset (Zakat, 1990 – inspired by I. Babel). In 1993-94 he received a NIPKOW-program grant which enabled him to study production in Berlin and work on a project about Chagall. His controversial film Moscow (2000) is sometimes compared to Kira Muratova’s The Asthenic Syndrome (1991) due to its treatment of the psychological condition of today’s Russian population.

About the film

Black & white, 35 mm

Section: East of the West
Director: Alexander Zeldovich
Screenplay: Vladimir Sorokin, Alexandr Zeldovič/Alexander Zeldovich
Dir. of Photography: Alexandr Ilchovskij/Alexander Alkhovsky
Music: Leonid Desjatnikov/Leonid Desyatnikov
Editor: Světlana Aranovová/Svetlana Aranova, Taťjana Jegojčevová/Tatiana Egoicheva
Producer: Arsen Gotlib
Production: Studio Telekino, Mosfilm 3194
Cast: Ingeborga Dapkunajte/Angeborga Dapkunaine, Taťjana Drubič/Tatiana Drubich, Natalja Koljakanova/Natalia Kolyakanova

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