The leading figure of contemporary Russian documentary Vitaly Mansky is known as a provocative, uncompromising and critical director. His films show peculiar characters revealing various forms of Russian society as well as analytical projects dealing with the transformation of local political culture. Revisiting the past, especially his childhood in the USSR and his Jewish roots, represents another distinctive line followed in Mansky’s films.
“During filming the author should be freed from the constraints of morality and concentrate on the legal restrictions.” The director’s claim for Variety magazine is also true for the two-week showcase of Mansky’s works. The context of morality, which is a rather explosive theme in traditional Russia, is explicitly discussed by the controversial film Virginity. The filmmaker follows the journey of three young Russian girls who have left the familiar setting of their native village to achieve success in the Russian capital. Each of them has her own strategy of living a new life. One of them does not even hesitate to offer her virginity for sale. The untraditional stories of contemporary Russians are also followed in Broadway. Black Sea and its loose continuation Wild, Wild Beach. The former film is set at the shore of the Black Sea where refugees, outcasts and the poorest of the poor meet at an abandoned place to spend their holidays together, pursuing all of the indispensable holiday activities in the few short summer weeks. The same place is revisited four years later in Wild, Wild Beach capturing the specific life at a nudist beach. The political twists and turns of the vast Russian landscape are depicted in the extensive documentary trilogy Red Tsars. Presidents of Russia introducing three major presidential figures of the Soviet and post-Soviet era Mikhail S. Gorbachev, Boris Yeltsin and Vladimir Putin. A return to the times of the Soviet Union is represented by the documentary fiction Private Chronicles. Monologue made of more than 5 000 hours of home video found footage and the introspective essay about the filmmaker’s relation to his Jewish origin Gagarin´s Pioneers. Last but not least, the documentary display provides a disillusioned view of the state of post-revolution Cuba in Motherland or Death.
DAFilms.com gives you a unique chance to watch the works by the king of Russian documentary in a retrospective selection of 9 films from Monday, November 25 to Sunday, December 8 for free!
Doc Alliance is a creative partnership of 7 key European documentary film festivals. Our aim is to advance the documentary genre, support its diversity and promote quality creative documentary films.