Archive of films My Russia / Mein Russland

2002, 91 min

Section: East of the West
Year: 2002

Viennese bank clerk Margit’s well-ordered life is derailed when her son decides to marry a young Russian woman, and Margit must deal with an invasion of future in-laws from the East. In this humorous and yet slightly bitter film (featuring excellent acting performances) the director managed to realistically capture the difference between Austrian fastidiousness and the expansive Russian soul.


Margit is a completely average Viennese woman. She’s 46 years old, works at a bank, is divorced and has two adult children. A strong woman at first glance. Work is going well and she’s building a house where she hopes that she and her children and grandchildren can all live someday. To round it all out, her boyfriend respects her, and it seems that she’s got her life firmly under control. But the impending marriage of her son to a Russian girl named Anna, who already has a little son, starts to shake Margit´s well-ordered life. Not only does her son refuse, under Anna´s influence, to live in the home Margit has been excited about for so many years, but Margit must also face an invitation of future Russian in-law - and they´re not all easy to deal with. Margit gets stuck in a strange cycle of flowing vodka, pickle munching, sparkling gold-capped teeth and partying till all hours. To make matters worse, Margit´s son blows a lot of cash on a pipe dream and even gets mixed up with Russian pimps. Margit is desperate. Her boyfriend leaves her, she’s lost all control over her son’s life and the Russian bride finally decides to leave with her little son, on whom Margit has become emotionally dependent.

About the director

Barbara Gräftner (b. 1964) studied medicine and architecture in Vienna. After taking a degree in medicine she worked in a hospital and later as a psychotherapist. In 1996 she was accepted to the film and television department of Vienna’s Academy of Art. She made the short films Winnetou (1997), Froschkönig (1999), Imagefilm Raika (2000), and the documentaries P. S. Mataschek (1997), Schwulsein im Ländle (1998) and W-Foto 99 (1999). My Russia is her feature debut. This noteworthy film, shot in twelve days on a shoestring budget, took this year’s main prize at the Max Ophüls Festival (young German film) in Saarbrücken.

About the film

Black & white, 35 mm

Section: East of the West
Director: Barbara Gräftner
Screenplay: Barbara Gräftner
Dir. of Photography: Robert Winkler
Music: Christof Kurzmann
Editor: Oliver Neumann
Producer: Robert Winkler
Production: Bonus Film GmbH
Cast: Andrea Nürnberger, Nathalia Baranova, Holger Schober, Wolfgang Gastinger

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