Archive of films Christmas Mystery / Rožděstvenskaja mistěrija

2000, 92 min

Section: East Meets West
Year: 2001


Maxim and Masha are growing up in a village in the north. At a school performance the guest puppeteer’s wooden angel flies over to Maxim and the puppeteer promises to take him on as an apprentice. The teenage Maxim carves Masha’s nude figure into a tree and her humiliated mother has to pack her off to St Petersburg. Eventually, Maxim ends up there, too. A group of Italian comedians are fascinated by his flying angel and they offer him an engagement. Maxim leaves without suspecting that Masha is expecting his baby. Short-lived fame becomes humiliating poverty. He eventually finds his way back to his village. There is nothing left to do but fulfil a promise he made to his teacher to give a performance at the school on New Year’s Eve. However, his fellow villagers search in vain for children in the deserted village. Their search in the snowy woods almost ends in tragedy, but instead a miracle happens. As a sign of family reconciliation the long-paralysed angel flies once again, and the night lights up with fireworks. The old teacher is now able to add to her archive a photograph of Maxim’s tour of the world.

About the director

Andrei Kravchuk and Yuri Feting, who themselves scripted their debut feature, were advised by Alexei German who spent a number of years at Lenfilm helping young directors. Their debut Christmas Mystery (Rozhdstvienskaya mistieria, 2000) combines observations of contemporary Russian life with fairy-tale motifs and a Christmas holiday atmosphere.

About the film

Black & white, 35 mm

Section: East Meets West
Director: Andrei Kravchuk
Screenplay: Andrej Kravčuk, Jurij Feting
Dir. of Photography: Andrej Žegalov / Andrei Zhegalov
Music: Daler Nazarov
Editor: Tamara Lipartia
Producer: Igor Lavrik
Production: Lenfilm Studios
Cast: Alexej Kravčenko / Alexei Kravchenko, Čulpan Chamatova / Chulpan Khamatova, Sergej Šakurov / Sergei Shakurov

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