Ukraine

Eternal Homecoming

(ВІЧНЕ ПОВЕРНЕННЯ)

A woman is paid a surprise visit by her long-forgotten classmate, who needs her advice: should he choose a wife or a lover? An outrageously burlesque mise-en-scène is repeated many times over, each in a different setting and performed by new actors. While the viewer doesn’t immediately recognise this, the scenes are screen tests with various actors. Towards the finale, Muratova employs a trick: the black-and-white images are disrupted and the film continues in colour. In the screening room, the producer and a potential investor, a sugar magnate, discuss the material of the uncompleted film. The director has died and there is no money to finish the movie. Muratova asked the big stars of Russian cinema and stage (including Renata Litvinova, Oleg Tabakov and Alla Demidova) as well as the amateur actors from her previous films to collaborate on Eternal Homecoming, exploring the possibilities of aesthetic transformations between past and present.

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Run Time

114 mins

Letter to America

(ЛИСТ В АМЕРИКУ)

Two friends from Odessa try to compose a video message to their pals, emigrants to the United States. One of them rents his apartment to a devious girl who invents various excuses not to pay the rent. Letter to America is an exceptional story about “Chekhovian” characters on the verge of despair who nonetheless manage to enjoy life, even if these joys are beyond good and evil.

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Run Time

20 mins

Passions

(ЗАХОПЛЕННЯ)

Love affairs, horse races and male duels unfold at an isolated hippodrome by the sea inhabited by excessive, eccentric characters who strut and pose, fanatically declaim and obsess about their own ‘enthusiasms’. The film’s extravagant monologues were written and performed by the charismatic Renata Litvinova, whose screen presence channels equal parts Marilyn Monroe, Jean Harlow and the loquacious self-possession of a Warholian superstar. Litvinova, a professional screenwriter was discovered by Muratova, immediately becoming a member of her on-screen ‘family’, as well as a cult diva of the new Russian cinema.

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Run Time

112 mins