Stories from Non-Putin Russia
Flight of the Bumblebee / The Mother
Note that our second feature has changed: "The Mother" will now screen in place of "I Was Going Home"
Flight of the Bumblebee
dir. Yury Schiller, Russia, 1998,digital, Russian w/ English subtitles, 30 min.
Lenya lives in a village in Siberia. He is only 6, but already senses a new Russia. He lives with the desire for freedom, a passion for change, and contempt for Revolution. However, his character is complex. A typical Russian, he is torn between a craving for revolution and the safety of conformism.
dirs. Antoine Cattin and Pavel Kostomarov, Switzerland/Russia, 2007, digital, 80 mins. color, Russian w/ English subtitles
STORIES FROM NON-PUTIN RUSSIA
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.