• film

Stories from Non-Putin Russia

Flight of the Bumblebee / The Mother

Get Tickets
Thursday 8/27
7:00 pm
$9 General Admission
$7 Students & Seniors
FREE IHP Members

FOR FILMS AND EVENTS PRESENTED BY IHP, Tickets ARE Also Available From the IHP Box Office, which is normally open Tue-Sat from noon-8pm (or, for events outside of those times, from one hour before until one hour after the scheduled starting time).  
call 215.895.6590. 

Please join us at 6:00pm for a pre-screening reception hosted by IHP and the Russian-Speaking Professionals Network!

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.
followed by

The Mother

dirs. Antoine Cattin and Pavel Kostomarov, Switzerland/Russia, 2007, digital, 80 mins. color, Russian w/ English subtitles

Her name, Liubov, means “love” in Russian and for this Russian woman in a rural, farming community, “love” often means tough love. It means name calling and profanities when her son can’t multiply properly. It means calling her children lazy. It means fatigue and frustration, but it means putting food on the table and a roof over her children’s heads. Her story is not uncommon for a Russian female. She had a traumatizing youth and endures hardships, but what makes this mother a modern superwoman is the shear number of children she raises and that she does it alone. Liubov grits her teeth, bears both physical and emotional pains and earns the title of “mother” for the sake of her nine children. Filmmakers Antoine Cattin and Pavel Kostomarov spent three years becoming part of Liubov’s family, collecting episodes of her life and discovering the threads that would sew her stories together. The emerging narrative is born of the marriage of the raw (the collective footage) and the interpretation (the filming and the editing). 


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.