Russian film set in Soviet era highlights continuing tensions: director

BERLIN (Reuters) – Russia normally looks to be on the brink of war and conditions there now are a great deal like they had been in the 1970s, when people today worried that an international conflict would crack out and mainly sided with the governing administration, the director of a new movie set in that period has reported.

Existing relations involving Russia and the West are usually when compared with those of the Cold War due to clashes involving Washington and Moscow above Russia’s steps in Ukraine, the war in Syria and allegations of Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

Russian director Alexey German Jr., whose biopic “Dovlatov” about the 20th century writer Sergei Dovlatov is premiering at Berlin’s movie competition, advised Reuters his country’s most important tragedy was that it normally looks to be in a pre-war state.

“The far more people today feel like the war is about to start or has now commenced, the far more they unify with the ruling party or the governing administration and this is what we can see now,” he reported, adding it was a great deal the very same all through the 1970s, when his movie is set.

Depicting a drab gray Leningrad, “Dovlatov” follows the eponymous writer above a depressing six-working day interval as he struggles to get his get the job done revealed because it does not conform with the beliefs and criteria set by the Soviet authorities.

Editors reject his manuscripts and inform him to rewrite his tales – for instance by focussing on a Socialist wrestle involving a hero and anti-hero.

Director Alexey German Jr. with actresses Helena Sujecka and Elena Lyadova pose all through a photocall to boost the movie Dovlatov at the 68th Berlinale Intercontinental Movie Competition in Berlin, Germany, February 17, 2018. REUTERS/Hannibal Hanschke

But for Dovlatov, contemplating independently is heroic. Though he is struggling to make ends satisfy and desperately would like to acquire his daughter a doll, he decides to continue to be correct to himself fairly than obey orders to transform his design and style and topic matter.


Actor Danila Kozlovsky attends information meeting to boost the movie Dovlatov at the 68th Berlinale Intercontinental Movie Competition in Berlin, Germany, February 17, 2018. REUTERS/Hannibal Hanschke

German Jr. reported whilst his get the job done experienced never been censored, he experienced encounter of tightly managed conditions because his father’s 1971 movie “Trial on the Road” about Globe War Two was banned in the Soviet Union for 15 decades.

“Of course I have professional censorship first-hand and I have found my father’s pals becoming censored and of course my father also is a figure in this movie,” German Jr. advised Reuters.

Questioned about conditions for artists in Russia at present, he reported: “We are not North Korea or Iran and of course I have some matters that I never like in modern Russia but we are considerably from North Korea.”

Dovlatov’s get the job done was not revealed in Russia until eventually 1989, two decades prior to the collapse of the Soviet Union. He died in 1990 in New York, the place he experienced emigrated, at the age of 48 – prior to he could witness the extent of his level of popularity in Russia.

German Jr., 41, experienced aspired to make a movie about Dovlatov at any time since his twenties but put in nearly 15 decades doing the job out how to make a movie that did justice to the illustrious writer.

Dovlatov is just one of 19 films at the Berlinale vying for the prestigious Golden and Silver Bears. The winners will be declared at a prize-supplying ceremony on Feb. 24.

Crafting by Michelle Martin Editing by Andrew Bolton

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