A Beach Where Everybody Tells the Truth

In the first week of August, the Doc Alliance Films portal will take you on a holiday trip to the coast of the Black Sea. However, do not expect a harmonious see breeze but rather the raw heavy seas of grotesque bodies and drastic life stories, composing a tragicomic study of debauched humanity. Love fights, weddings, betrayals; melancholy, irony, death and primitive passions at a Black Sea beach in the Putin era; Russian film Tenders´Heat. Wild, Wild Beach

Russian director Vitaly Mansky invited two more documentarists for the shooting of the film; Suzanna Baranzhieva and Alexander Rastorguev. Lasting over two hours, their film captures the stories of various visitors as well as inhabitants of the beaches and their close environment. While some of them appear only briefly in the film, others have reappeared several times in front of the camera. The most observed and most developed character is that of the photographer Yevgenyi. He is offering exotic photographs on the beach. As a stage property, he has brought along a camel from the distant steppe, whose fate is to be worn out to his premature and fatal death. Wild Wild Beach even gives space to the then-president Putin who comes to the coast as a rather worn out and bored visitor during one of his business trips. Nevertheless, Putin’s presence in the film is rather symbolical, its other protagonists being a former prostitute, a newly married and drunk dwarf and a whole lot of other plump and bare bodies filled with liquor and sexuality; and, unfortunately, the camel tormented to death. Occasional scenes of ordinary “happy” families provide a rather cynical counterbalance to the prevailing tragicomic instinctive outbursts, swinging in the rhythm of Russian pop melodies, associating Pieter Bruegel’s paintings of five centuries ago. At the same time, the film avoids any aesthetic tendencies; the video scenes from the “wild beach” have the character of a reportage so that the bare bodies, along with the naked part of animalistic, instinctive humanity, make an unvarnished impression on the viewers.

The documentary Tender’s Heat: Wild, Wild Beach was awarded at the 2006 IDFA.


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