|OFFICIAL SELECTION / FRENCH COMPETITION||FIDMARSEILLE 2010|
World premiere / first film competition
|The eminent Russian writer Ossip Mandestam, who died when deported to Siberia in 1938, wrote in 1922: “My century, my beast, who will dare looking deep into your pupils?” Nathalie Nambot used this question as a starting point. You don’t notice it at once, but it gets confirmed gradually, as slowly as a survivor’s breath: her film is a long dedication to rebellious lucidity. Yesterday’s lucidity (yesterday?), from the Stalin era to today’s Russia (today?).|
Her project is all about recording immobilism and countering it with the rhythm of uprisings, thus mixing temporalities: the merciless continuity of horror with the sharpness of verses and screams. Obviously, it is ambitious. But also modest, because in order to stir up the past without succumbing to emotionalism, you need some incarnated complicities. Mandelstam. His wife Nadejda, who rescued his texts from oblivion by learning them by heart. A friend, Anna Akhmatova. They are all witnesses, in the present tense: they are living testimonies waiting to be heard, repeated and interpreted, as they wander through the city and landscape. They all say that what we get to see isn’t the exclusive property of winners. They are also very much in the now: they bring up the carnage at the Dubrovka theatre in October 2002, and the public words of Stanislav Markelov, a lawyer murdered in the street in January 2009.
“Written kisses never reach their destination / ghosts drink them on the way,” is the quotation that comes as an epigraph. The film is convinced of their possible exorcism.
Nicolas Féodoroff & Jean-Pierre Rehm