Film Archive

Jahr

Mom

Documentary Film
Russia
2013
28 minutes
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Lidiya Sheynina
Lidiya Sheynina
Lidiya Sheynina
Lidiya Sheynina
Lidiya Sheynina
Lidiya Sheynina
Lidiya Sheynina points her calm and distant camera at her mother’s body and face, often angled from below. Over the years, the mother has evolved the physiognomy of a turtle plodding along comfortably. Life is hard, the flat is cramped, but she makes the best of it – on and on. She has taken care of her aged mother for decades, the grey-haired, graceful Grande dame of this student film treasure, who sometimes exercises (jumping jack in a wheelchair), sometimes calls old friends (if they haven’t died yet), sometimes does the dishes (even the Teflon frying pans she’s not supposed to) but usually only sits and eats, or drinks from a beautiful old cup that has “babushka” written on it. The grandmother, who has forgotten how old she is (“What? 96? Impossible.”), that she has had no husband for the past 17 years (“Really?”) and hasn’t left the flat in 20 years (“That’s precisely why I’d like to go out again.”), has turned into a child, the daughter into a mama. The radio talks of the wonderful independence of old age; life is different. Together every day and every night. And yet Mama happily sways back and forth to the morning music and looks out of the window with her mother. Waiting for spring. Such tender metaphors turn “Mama”, a film of small gestures, into great cinema.

Barbara Wurm



Honorary Mention in the International Short Documentary Competition 2013

Victory Day

Documentary Film
Russia
2013
29 minutes
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Sergey Vinokurov, Alina Rudnitskaya
Alina Rudnitskaya
Fedor Bakulin
Alina Rudnitskaya
Sergey Vinokurov
Alexsey Antonov
“Only in Russia is it possible for the president to declare the year in which he files for divorce the ‘Year of the Family’.” While the sea of flags of the victory parade in the streets of St. Petersburg below illustrates how much Russian nationalist, communist and orthodox positions have merged in this country of ideological extremes, lesbian and gay couples stay at home on their sofas. Behind closed windows and out of reach of the new public who are to be kept pure of all “perverts”. They talk about how they met and how their parents and environment deal with their coming out. A talk show is being broadcast on television, an upright citizen thinks that the anti homosexual law passed in June 2013 is too harmless: “This type should be forbidden to donate blood or sperm and if they have a car crash their hearts should be buried in the ground or burned as unsuited for the prolongation of any kind of life.” The applause lasts several minutes.
The nice thing about this film is the normality of these loves and lovers, the obviousness of their views and attitudes. And yet – certainly at the end, in the brilliant final montage – a layer of desperation has settled on their intelligent faces. After the Jews and queers, one of them says, all that’s missing is a law against witches. Welcome to the Middle Ages, welcome to Russia today.
Barbara Wurm