• film

Stories from Non-Putin Russia

Broadway, Black Sea / Countryside 35x45

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Friday 8/21
7:00 pm
$9 General Admission
$7 Students & Seniors
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Broadway, Black Sea
dir. Vitali Mansky,Czech Republic, Germany, Russia , 2001, digital, Russian w/ English subtitles, 78 min.
Broadway, Black Sea presents a kaleidoscopic portrait of a Black Sea resort over the course of one holiday season. Largely devoid of authorial comment or exposition, the filmmakers are content to simply glide around the campsites, beaches, and fairgrounds, capturing the diverse sights and sounds on display

followed by

Countryside 35x45

dir. Evgeny Solomin, Russia, 2009, digital, Russian w/ English subtitles,43 min.

Photographer Lyutikov travels in Siberian villages photographing people, for the authorities have decided to replace old Soviet passports with new Russian ones. He shoots men in front of a sheet nailed to a barn wall and hangs the sheet in the village hall for women. In Russia, a person without a passport isn't really a person; you can't even buy a train ticket. Then again, if you haven't been paid in eight years, where would you go?


Next year will mark two and a half decades since the collapse of the Soviet Union and the start of a new identity for Russia. Leaving behind an era of oligarchs, the country emerged in the 21st century with its super-riches topping the charts of Forbes magazine while its political elite once again began flexing their muscles on the world stage. Remarkably the state of life for the people of Russian provinces is far away from the ambitions of the center.

This eclectic collection of stunning documentaries, rather than dwelling on political and economic issues, reflects on the psychological impact of the change on Russian people. The idea of the province, the local "neighborhood," is the focus. Carefully selected films show that although political tendencies of Russian society have often determined social changes, the province only observes and often pays for them.

Many works are produced by regional, non-central studios by filmmakers from the same social strata as their provincial subjects, betraying both a physical and an emotional distance from the "movers and shakers" of urban society. Interestingly, the series demonstrates above all that today's Russian documentarian inherits a deep sense of the culture and traditions rooted in classical literature, rather than values derived from contemporary cinema and television.