The 77th Venice Film Festival, held in difficult epidemiological conditions associated with a pandemic, and more sparsely populated, having lost half of its viewers and many guests, is over. The most important thing is that his management showed courage and held an offline film screening. Filmmakers from Russia traveled to Venice by a roundabout route, with two or three transfers, since there is still no direct connection with Italy. The journalists, who had been at the festival all the time, had to take a COVID test every five days, well that at the expense of the festival. Life was extreme.
The jury, headed by Australian-American actress Cate Blanchett, awarded the main prize “Golden Lion” to the film “Land of the Nomads” shown on the last day by the Chinese woman Chloe Zhao. Born in Beijing, educated in New York, she has now directed a film about modern America. The main role was played, without exaggeration, by the outstanding American actress Frances McDormand (Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri), the wife of Joel Cohen, one of the brothers from the famous director’s duo. Actually, Francis initiated the project: she herself found documentary material, which formed the basis of the script, she herself invited the director.
The special jury prize went to Andrei Konchalovsky and his black and white painting “Dear Comrades!” about the execution of workers, residents of Novocherkassk in 1962. Surely he expected more, and looked a little disappointed. Having a collection of “Silver Lions”, Konchalovsky still will not be awarded “gold”. “I won my first prize in Venice over 50 years ago,” said the director. “Venice has been a special place for me since then, and I am very happy to be here again with a job that is very important for me personally, as this is a film about our parents, about a generation that is almost no longer with us.”
“Dear comrades!” also noted by the recently established FAI CISL Foundation. the award “Man, Labor, Environment”. It was awarded for the first time for the disclosure in the cinema of topics related to labor and environmental problems.
The main character, played by Yulia Vysotskaya, is a front-line soldier, a single mother, devoted to the ideas of Stalin, who for her is the light in the window. He is gone, and life is getting worse, you cannot figure out many issues yourself. Then she seemed to see the light, almost experiencing the loss of her daughter, but the statements of Konchalovsky himself in Venice spoke of something completely different. He recalled the activities of Khrushchev and assessed his decision at the 20th Party Congress, where Stalin was debunked, as bad and primitive. Himself Nikita Sergeevich Konchalovsky called a stupid person and quoted Mao Zedong, who said the following: “Khrushchev is an idiot. He betrayed communism. ” Every time in Venice Konchalovsky amazes with his political and purely human statements and judgments, which cause only rage in many.
Debutant Philip Yuriev’s “Whaler”, who participated in the author’s film program “Days of Venice”, received the only prize that is awarded there. The jury in this section was headed by the famous Israeli film director Nadav Lapid, who received the 2019 Berlinale Golden Bear for the film Synonyms. Filip Yuryev’s painting was filmed in Chukotka, it was mainly attended by non-professional artists living in that harsh land. The painting took almost eight years to complete. The three leaders of the “Days of Venice”, selected by the jury, also included the “Conference” by Ivan I. Tverdovsky, which tells about the post-traumatic syndrome of victims of the terrorist attack in the Theater Center on Dubrovka.
And another award that is interesting for us – Ukrainian playwright Natalia Vorozhbit, whose plays are actively staged in Russia, received an award in the Venice Critics Week program already as a director for the best innovative film Bad Roads. Mikhail Ugarov wanted to stage this play at Teatre.doc. Everything was decided, but his untimely death prevented this plan from being realized.