2012 Festival Statement

The year 2012 – commemorates the bicentenary of Russia’s 1812 defeat of Napoleon, celebrates 70 years of Australia-Russia diplomatic relations and marks the ninth Russian Resurrection Film Festival. The largest festival of Russian Cinema outside of Russia today returns to screens Australia-wide this August and September sharing powerful cinematic moments in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Canberra and Perth.

This year our selection of films covers the grand scope of contemporary film making in Russia: 25 superb Russian national films offering a wide range of genres to cater to the most discerning cinematic tastes. Vysotsky, the most successful Russian box office film of 2011-2012 was written by Vysotsky’s son Nikita and directed by Pyotr Buslov. It is a film about Russia’s answer to Bob Dylan, the iconic Soviet musician and poet Vladimir Vysotsky. The hauntingly powerful crime thriller Home features a stellar cast and remarkable situations. The sublime power of the landscape dominates people living on the edge as they strive to rise above living like the wild dogs that surround them in Siberia Monamour. The classic Russian conflict between intellectuals and the rich and powerful as to what is to be done with Russia’s future is superbly explored in the romantic drama Two Days. Gromozeka is a bittersweet drama that combines the parallel lives of former band members twenty years on and how their lives continue to intersect. We also have the multi-award winner, There Once Lived a Simple Woman and a feast of acclaimed comedies to enjoy after a hard day. 2012 also features Match, a story of love, football and war that is based on a true war story. Festival favourite, Shakhnazarov returns with a remarkable war flick, White Tiger - a mystical tale about an indestructible Nazi tank. And for something different, a spy-thriller appropriately named Spy. Set in a utopian steampunk Moscow it pits the Russian spies against their Nazi arch enemies in the lead up to War. Full of twists, comedy and suspense it makes for essential, although very secretive viewing.

2012 features not one, but two retrospectives – classic Chekhov screen adaptations (The Duel & Mikhalkov’s much loved Unfinished Piece for a Player Piano) which complement the new romantic interlude about Chekhov himself. And then there are classics marking the bicentenary of the great victory of the 1812 patriotic war. Get in early for tickets to experience one of the most eagerly awaited cinema events of all time: Bondarchuk’s Oscar winning epic: War & Peace in an all-day marathon screening.

Every new film will be an Australian premier so whether you’re looking to immerse yourself in Russian culture, undertake a historical visual journey or succumb to an entertaining romance or something to take the kids to - this year’s program will satisfy everyone. A special thanks to all our sponsors who continue to support this unique and memorable event. Thanks also to Palace Cinemas and Event Cinemas for putting to the big screen Russian cinematic gems.

Russian Resurrection - the best of new and old Russian Cinema. Let the Resurrection Continue!

Nicholas Maksymow
Festival Director