Literature teacher became a successful porn actress

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Ilya was born in Murmansk-130, first received a technical, and then a director’s education in St. Petersburg, shot several films – “Flea”, “Berry”, “Volcano Blues”. In his new film The Last Motor Ship, the 50-year-old Klavdiya Yelanskaya, a 50-year-old vessel, bypasses the Kola Peninsula three times a year, connecting remote villages with the mainland. Soon the ship will be written off, disposed of, but there is no replacement for it. To get from Murmansk to Gremikha, you need to make a 16-hour journey by water. And even more to the rest of the villages.

The majestic northern landscapes, sustained in cold gray-blue tones, make a strong impression. As well as the remains of the once lively settlements, now reminiscent of cemeteries. For example, Gremikha – 40 thousand people lived here, there were not enough apartments for everyone. And now the city is empty. People are leaving and not going back. A native of Kazakhstan, who settled in northern Russia many years ago, when everything was falling apart in his homeland, will say that now it’s as if the war has passed here. “There is nothing to do in this city,” people say. And there is no Internet. One girl who just graduated from school says: “I have lived here all my life, and there are favorite places, but I still wouldn’t come back here.” The 2022 graduates will mostly leave this ghost town.

The ship goes further, comes to the island of Sosnowiec, where the meteorological station is still working. Apart from it, there is absolutely nothing here – no shops, no hospitals, just bare land. One of the employees of the station is a native of Ukraine. He explains: “I’m from Mariupol, which was bombed.” A resident from a neighboring village will add: “The North lived, lived, and then the villages began to close – unprofitable.” The village of Chavanga is one of the last on the Kola Peninsula where salmon fishing is still preserved, which means there is life. Next is Strelna. It was abolished in 1988 as unnecessary, attributed to a neighboring settlement. It was there that the main character of the painting, Roman Uzrin, found the home of his ancestors. With photographs in hand, he asks local residents: what if someone is familiar with this modest dwelling? Some dialogues and scenes are overly staged, and non-professional artists play their roles of themselves aggressively. Luckily, there aren’t many of them. Yes, and the beauty of the North saves.

Another world premiere of the festival is “Scene by Scene” by Artur Sokolov, a graduate of the Art School named after. V.I. Surikov and the scenario workshop of the SiberiaDOC residence. Its heroes are a married couple of circus artists – Evgeny and Natalya Kagarmanov. Together with two monkeys and three poodles, they move around the snow-covered villages of Siberia, arrange a simple show for the village children, bringing them unspeakable joy. Monkey Sonya, who loved raw potatoes so much, who became a member of the family, unfortunately left this world, forever remained lying in the Siberian forest, having lived a long working life.

“Landscape” was directed by renowned theater director and cinematographer Daniel Ketter. Before that, he worked in Cairo, Tehran, Addis Ababa, and now he has reached the outskirts of Armenia. In “Landscape” he captured the tragic landscape of the border area from Lake Sevan to the Sotq gold mine. This land is beautiful and dark. Near the border. Everything here is from the old Soviet times – from half-wrecked cars to dishes. Some canned USSR. All conversations of local residents are connected with Azerbaijan, drones and drones. The breath of death is felt in the air, the 57-year-old woman recalls that she has already survived three wars. And a refugee from Azerbaijan, who calls himself a full-blooded Armenian, says he wants to be sure that this is Armenian land. People live content with little, expect nothing from life. Another frozen land in anticipation of the unknown.

Shot from the film “Bitter Days”. Photo: Press service of the festival

One of the most exotic entries in the competition, Bitter Days, was directed by Pascale Appora-Gnekindi, a native of the Central African Republic (she came to cinema from the IT world) and Ningui Sun, a Chinese woman living in New York (she is a master at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, a member of the UN campaign for peacekeeping in CAR). The film was shown in Moscow on the days when Russian documentary filmmaker Alexander Rastorguev, who died in the Central African Republic, would have turned 52. But what do we know about this country? Almost nothing. We do not know how people live there, how they raise children. Despite outbreaks of civil war, a new bank is being built in the CAR. Chinese specialists come there, and for them everything they see is also a complete surprise, and every day brings new surprises.

Olga Smirnova, a graduate of the Higher Courses for Scriptwriters and Directors (Pavel Lungin became her master), participated in the short film competition. It is about a young literature teacher Eva from the Tula region. She found a new job on the ad, got more than a month at school for it, and decided to change her fate, she became a porn actress. Now she does not count every penny, but travels the world, works in international film groups. No one chastises her for showing up in sneakers. If the father, a tractor driver, who dreamed of a university education for his daughter, were alive, he would have nailed it. Mom also did not reconcile herself and consoles herself with conversations that, perhaps, a child was replaced for her in the maternity hospital. “Yes, I love literature, I love reading books,” says Eva. But this is my past. Brodsky is, of course, good, but she chose a different fate. It turned out to be a frank and bold conversation on a dangerous topic, which not everyone dares. In almost every film shown at the festival, there was this desperation and courage coming from the heroes or those who found them and brought them to the cinema. Show this in a feature film – they will say that this cannot be.

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