Optical Axis

About the film

Title: Optical Axis
Title in Russian: Оптическая ось
Production company: Marina Razbeghkina Studio
Country of production: Russia
Year of Production: 2013
Duration: 90 min.
Film made with the financial support of the Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation
Web-site of the film: www.razbeg.org

Film crew

Film director: Marina Razbezhkina
Producer: Marina Razbezhkina
Director of photography: Irina Uralskaya, Denis Klebleev
Sound director: Yury Geddert
Editor Yury Geddert


Looking at 100-year-old Russian photos at the site of their creation produces a dynamic encounter between past and present.


Around the turn of the twentieth century, photographer Maxim Dmitriev made a series of photo-portraits surveying the social types and occupations of the Russian Empire. He photographed various social groups, including workers, peasants, homeless people, courtesans, priests, and the upper classes in Nizhny Novgorod and its neighborhood. Taking his large prints to the sites where they were originally made, the film observes today’s inhabitants from all walks of life, from those living in a shelter, to workers, peasants, doctors, Old Believers, and striptease dancers, gazing at their counterparts from the previous century. Willingly joining this game, those filmed appear increasingly drawn to the world they imagine in the photographic traces, asking themselves the poignant questions, "how different are we?" and "how has our life changed since the last century?"

Festival and awards
Date Festival Form of participation Award
10.2013 DOK Leipzig Competition
12.2013 ARTDOCFEST, Russia Competition
Verzio Film Festival International panorama
01.2014 Docpoint IDFF, Finland Lost In Places section


About the film director Marina Razbezhkina:

Director, script writer, producer, teacher Marina Razbezhkina lives and works in Moscow.

Education: Kazan State University, Philology Faculty (1971).

Member of the European Film Academy (fiction section).

Photoplay School - Director and Professor of the School of the documentary film and theater (Moscow). Member of the Union of Cinematographers of Russia. Member of the Guild of Directors of Russia, Member of the Russian Academy of Cinema Arts “Nika”.

The participant of more than 55 international and domestic film festivals and Holder of more than 25 awards. Marina Razbezhkina’s Workshop of documentary films (at Photoplay School) is one of the most popular film schools in Russia, the graduates of which win prizes at Russian and international film festivals.


Marina Razbeghkina Studio

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