Malatya Film Fest to show Russian director's award-winning films

Published 31.08.2017 00:02
Updated 31.08.2017 00:03
In the film “Elena,” a woman endures being the wife and servant of a rich man to protect her family.
In the film “Elena,” a woman endures being the wife and servant of a rich man to protect her family.

Set to run from Nov. 9 to Nov. 16, the 7th Malatya Film Festival will host five films by Russian director Andrey Zvyagintsev, who has attracted great attention, especially at prestigious international film festivals

Internationally award-winning films, such as "Loveless," which received the 2017 Cannes Film Festival Jury Prize, by Andrey Zvyagintsev, one the most successful directors in Russian cinema today, will be screened at the 7th Malatya International Film Festival.

Organized by the Malatya Metropolitan Municipality, the film festival will bring cinema lovers together with Andrey Zvyagintsev, who has received many awards for his films focusing on human relations and the concept of power.

Five films, "The Return," "Izgnanie," "Elena," "Leviathan" and "Loveless," by the Russian director and actor responsible for the rise of Russian cinema again in the world, will be screened in Malatya.

Having drawn attention at the world premiere of his first feature, "The Return" (2003), at the 60th Venice Film Festival and having won five awards, especially the Golden Lion, Zvyagintsev put his signature on marvelous successes ever since. He is embraced by European cinema as a director following in the footsteps of the master of Russian cinema: Andrey Tarkovsky.

For 15 years, Zvyagintsev has been examining how the concepts of state and religion influence people. He successfully balances social and political criticism by reaching high levels in language and aesthetics.

'Loveless' on the program

"Loveless" (2017), which received the Jury Prize at Cannes Film Festival this year, brings the opening sentence of Leo Tolstoy's novel "Anna Karenina" to mind; "Happy families are all alike; but each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way."

In the film, a couple wants to get rid of their sons and lead a new life with new partners, but little Alyosha disappears. The couple is about to divorce, but find themselves searching for Alyosha together with the police and volunteers. Featuring rich metaphors, the film reflects the social structure and recent history of Russia.

Having made Zvyagintsev an internationally famous filmmaker, his first film, "Vozvrashchenie" (The Return) (2003), is a mystical family drama in which a father, who returns home after 12 years, brings his sons to an island, appearing like a God figure for them and unsolvable.

The film mesmerizes the audience with unique images inspired by classic paintings and with references to Tarkovsky.

The director's second film, "Izgnanie" (The Banishment) (2007), competed in the 60th Cannes Film Festival, winning the Best Actor Prize for Konstantin Lavronenko, the charismatic father of the film "Vozvrashchenie."

Impressing with its mise-en-scène, the film is a disturbing family drama about cheating and vengeance adapted from Armenian writer William Saroyan's novel "The Laughing Matter."

Having won the Jury Prize in the category of Un Certain Regard in the Cannes Film Festival, "Elena" (2011) focuses on human weaknesses in a universal aspect and on the gap between rich and the poor in Russia after Perestroika. In "Elena," a woman endures being the wife and servant of a rich man to protect her family.

"Leviathan" (2014) became an international sensation, receiving the Best Screenplay Award at the 67th Cannes Film Festival and the Best Foreign Language Film award at the 72nd Golden Globes. It was also a candidate for Best Foreign Language Film at the 88th Academy Awards.

Zvyaginstev criticizes the coalition of political power and church over a property problem, which completely contradicts the communist past of the country.

Leviathan, which the seventh century philosopher Thomas Hobbes used as a simile for the church-state, is an undefeated monster which is described in the 41st part of the Book of Job in the Old Testament and thought as a whale sometimes.

Zvyagintsev tells the story of Nikolai, who tries to save the house handed down by his grandfather from expropriation, with a sense of humor and outstanding aesthetics.

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