A film about loving relationship between a married couple with artistic leanings. Lyudmila and Vladimir have lived and worked together for decades. Set apart from the surrounding world, their small house is filled with their drawings and wooden sculptures inspired by Celtic art and reminiscent of the works of these natural people. The artwork even has its own room in the house, which the couple regularly visit with emotions bordering on religious awe. Kostomarov’s film reveals an exceptional feeling for the poetic, sometimes almost lyrical, portrayal of what appears to be everyday life. With the help of sensitive camerawork, the director manages to imbue the cheerful story of Vladimir’s bohemian youth and shots of Lyudmila’s solicitous care for her beloved husband with an uncommonly intimate atmosphere, thus offering the viewer a documentary poem about one possible form of eternal love.
Liouba escaped from her violent husband with all her 9 children. She raises them along with her daughter Alesia on a farm in Russia where they both work. They devote all their overwhelming love to their maternal instincts. They take in a hungry little boy, three-year old Sacha, the son of another girl working on the farm. Liouba and Alesia belong to those people who sacrifice themselves in the name of their love. Liouba and especially Alesia are still hoping to find a good husband. So the search for a husband ends up in a struggle to kick out a parasite. Antoine Cattin is born in 1975 in Saignelégier. In 2001 he receives degree from the University of Lausanne. Worked in Russia as assistant director to S. Loznitsa. Filmography: ‘The Mother’ (2007 ), ‘Vivre en paix ‘ (2004), ‘Transformator’ (2003) – all as co-director, all documentaries.
Almost 75 years of age, Alexei German is one of the greatest living Russian directors. He is well-known not only for his despotic behaviour on set, but also for his incredible precision. Perhaps this is also the reason he has only made four films to date (e.g. My Friend Ivan Lapshin and Khrustalyov, My Car!). Production on his latest film, this time based on the novel by the Strugatsky brothers, Hard to Be God (Trudno byt bogom), has been ongoing for more than ten years. Directing duo Cattin and Kostomarov (The Mother – screened at Karlovy Vary in 2008) were given permission to move about freely on set with two cameras while German was shooting his film, and during breaks they talked to the man himself. This suggestive glimpse into a specific environment with its own rules, from which the filmmakers were able to capture the essence of truth during the creative process, is a portrait not only of a celebrated and uncompromising artist, but of his country as well. [KVIFF]