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Documentary Film
58 minutes

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Yulia Mishkinene, Vita Aktiva
Madina Mustafina
Madina Mustafina
Madina Mustafina
Madina Mustafina
Milana is only seven. But like all so-called neglected children she acts more adult than she is. The camera follows her for one short, violent hour, a camera which sometimes, it must be said, isn’t mercilessly close to the action but mercilessly far away. Why don’t you drop this camera, one hears oneself scream, why don’t you take this child away from her violent parents, why do you allow the mother to play out her unbearable ritual of threat and punishment, why don’t you save Milana by taking her away from her alcoholic parents, who vegetate in the forest on the edge of town, and bringing her to a place where everything is better. Because this place of a right life doesn’t exist, Madina Mustafina would probably answer. Because I want to show you what it’s like. Because her emotionally incompetent parents’ punches are as much part of Milana’s life as the intuitive knowledge that things aren’t any better elsewhere. Things may be more stable at the core of what we usually call civilisation, but there is no space for a sense of real freedom either.
Anyway, this is hardcore social cinema of the internationally acclaimed Razbezkina-Ugarov school of Russian documentary film. Few have exposed a life already lost in childhood as ruthlessly as the winner of Artdocfest 2011. Definitely a painful film.
– Barbara Wurm