This year the film festival in Helsinki had a massive Russian programme.
This year one of the biggest documentary film festivals screened the recent work of Russian documentary filmmakers.
“Victory Day” by Alyna Rudnitskaya, “Last Limousine” by Daria Khlestkina and “Children 404” by Askold Kurov and Pavel Loparev - these three films were in competition.
Five more films were screened under the special programme called “A Bitter Taste of Freedom”. These films were chosen by the Finish journalist and documentarian Reijo Nikkila. For many years he worked in Moscow, and "since the 1990s, Nikkilä has been an important figure in bringing Russian documentary films to Finland and exporting Finnish documentary films to Russia."
"The series, A Bitter Taste of Freedom is Nikkilä’s view of the collapse of the Soviet Union and the free filmmaking in Russia from Marina Goldovskaya’s film The Solovetsk Power (Vlast Solovetskaya, Russia, 1988) to Goldovskaya’s A Bitter Taste of Freedom (Sweden/USA, 2011). The title of the whole series comes from a film that is a unique portrait of Anna Politkovskaya, reveiling her assassination in 2006 – an event that was to mark the end of freedom. Nikkilä’s own films comment on the Soviet Union and Russian events from Stalin’s pogroms to the collapse of the Soviet reign from a western point of view." (From the DocPoint press release)
Under the series these films were screened: “The Solovetsk Power” by Marina Goldovskaja, “Lenin’s Body” by Vitali Manski, “The Russians Have Gone” by Alexander Gutman, “The Belovs” by Victor Kossakovsky, “DMB-91” by Aleksei Hanjutin.
The Film festival finished on the 1st of February.
The Russian Victory Day Parade held on May 9 is a harsh symbol. On a day, that should be all about celebrating peace and freedom, it seems that the land of tightening laws wants to run over its minorities with tanks. On TV, people discuss burning or burying the hearts of gay people.
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