Russia, 2020; 120'
Screenplay: Andrej Končalovski, Elena Kiseleva
Cast: Julija Visotskaja, Vladislav Komarov, Andrej Gusev, Julija Burova, Sergej Erliš, Aleksander Maskelin
Festivals, awards (selection): Venice 2020 (Special Jury Prize)
The movie is based on a true story that shook the town of Novocherkassk, USSR, in 1962 and was kept secret until the Nineties.
USSR, Novocherkassk, 1962. Lyudmila is a member of the local Communist Party. She is a staunch upholder of the Communist regime and ideals and despises any form of dissent. During a labour strike at the local electromotive factory, she witnesses the shooting on the protesters by the Army sent by the government to quell the strike: a massacre. An event that will change her vision of the world forever. The city is torn apart by riots, arrests, hasty convictions. Many people are injured and several ones are missing. Lyudmila’s daughter disappears into thin air and the woman starts an anguished, dangerous and relentless search. The film thoroughly chronicles the course of events that reached a resolution only after the collapse of the Soviet Union.
I wanted to make a film about the generation of my parents, the one that fought in and survived World War II with a conviction that it was honourable to die “for Homeland, for Stalin” and an unconditional trust in the goals of Communism: to create a new society through efforts of millions of people. I wanted to reconstruct with the utmost accuracy the events that really happened, and an era in which history revealed the unbridgeable gap between Communist ideals and the tragic reality of facts. This film is a tribute to the purity of that generation, its sacrifices, and the tragedy it experienced seeing its myths collapse and its ideals betrayed.