Archive of films April / Aprel´

Russia
2001, 102 min

Section: East of the West
Year: 2002

A small-time criminal, April, suspected by the underworld of collaborating with the police, is given an assassination order. Fate lures his victim to the night clinic where he has gone to visit his girlfriend, a nurse; the hospital is also prey to masked baby-snatchers. The ensuring unequal battle takes an unexpected turn and coneludes with an unforeseen outcome.


Synopsis

Russian critics describe Murzenko’s debut as a poetic horror and an exacting moral piece attentive to the smallest detail. This view is also based on the fact that the director introduced into the purely American genre, hitherto focusing on the strength of the screenplay, wholly Russian concepts such as soul, destiny and nostalgia. Furthermore, he looks upon the bizarre world of post-Soviet crime with a certain irony. Unlike his colleagues, who weigh down their stories with social contexts, he founds his own on the protagonists’ individual dispositions. April is the nickname of a small-time criminal who finds himself in a trap, having lost the faith of the underworld. He has no idea who is behind an assassination order he has been given. Fate lures his victim to the night clinic where he has gone to visit his girlfriend, a nurse; the hospital is also prey to masked kidnappers who come to steal new-born babies as part of an underground racket. In this situation April becomes a fearless and reproachless knight: He outwits his own destiny, the police and the kidnappers working for the criminal boheme who awaits the outcome of operation in a bowling club.

About the director

Konstantin Murzenko (b. 1969) studied journalism at Leningrad State University and then joined a low-budget film project at Gorky Studios in Moscow as a screenwriter. He adapted the expression, language and genres of Russian film to reflect international standards in films by like-minded associates such as: Tough Time (Zhostkoye vremya, Maxim Pezhemsky, 1996), Mommy, Don’t Grieve (Mama, nye goryuy, Maxim Pezhemsky, 1997), Vampire (Upyr, Sergei Vinokurov, 1997) and The Body Will Be Rendered to the Mould and the Midshipman Will Sing (Tyelo budyet predano zemlye i starshi michman budyet pyet, Ilya Makarov, 1998). He has also appeared in films directed by his colleagues: Concert for a Rat (Koncert dlya krysy, Oleg Kovalov, 1995), Brother 2 (Brat 2, Alexei Balabanov, 2000). April (2001) is his directorial debut.

About the film

Black & white, 35 mm

Section: East of the West
   
Director: Konstantin Murzenko
Screenplay: Konstantin Murzenko
Dir. of Photography: Maxim Trapo
Music: Danila Kalašnik/Danila Kalashnik
Editor: Alexandr Šupakov/Alexander Chupakov, Anžela Petrosjan/Angela Petrosyan
Producer: Jusup Bašijev/Yusup Bashiev
Production: MB Production and Non-stop Production, STV, Union Art
Cast: Jevgenij Styčkin/Eugeny Stychkin, Michail Krug/Mikhail Krug, Děnis Burgazliev/Denis Burgazliyev/, Jurij Kucenko/Yury Kutsenko, Sergej Mazajev/Sergey Mazayev, Saša Kulikova/Sasha Kulikova, Olga Suslova, Alexandr Lazarev Jr., Renata Litvinova
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