Thursday, June 15, 2017

V subbotu / Innocent Saturday

В субботу
Director: Aleksandr Mindadze
Country: Venäjä/Russia, Saksa/Germany, Ukraina/Ukraine
Year: 2011
Duration: 1.39
Languages: ru
Original name: V subbotu
    Midnight Sun Film Festival, Sodankylä (In the Heart of Darkness: Nuclear Power in the Cinema)
    Introduced by Mika Taanila and Olaf Möller 
    DCP (or some other computer file?) with English subtitles viewed at Cinema Lapinsuu, 15 June 2017

Velipekka Makkonen (MSFF): "The Chernobyl nuclear disaster is said to be among the reasons causing the collapse of the Soviet Union. The bitterness of the tragedy has been increased by the large-scale cover-up involved. Movies about it have been made very sparingly, perhaps because the tragedy has been too great for that. Mindadze has created one method of approaching it, personal responsibility in as an opposite to ignorance."

"A young worker at Chernobyl, Vasya, stumbles into a room where the fire that has started in the power plant is being discussed about. He realizes the frightening severity of the situation, dashes to pick up his girlfriend and tries to flee as far away from the radiation pollution as possible. After minor mishaps they end up in a rock club where Vasya used to play. His former band mates demand he sits on the drummer’s seat, when their usual drummer has turned out to be incapable of playing. Thus he is stuck at the club, unable to tell about the horrifying accident. The gleam of the fire is visible in the horizon, firemen fight desperately against the spreading of the disaster. At the club people rock and drink, have drunk fights as apocalypse draws closer. They rather look away, keep silent instead of taking responsibility. In this process of wondering, in seeing the chain of evading responsibility, lies the moral comment of the director, but he does not say it out loud." (VpM)

AA: There is a feeling of raw immediacy in Aleksandr Mindadze's reconstruction of 26 April 1986, the day of the Chernobyl disaster when the fourth reactor of the nuclear power plant was destroyed.

We see everything from the level of the individual consciousness as the young Vasya tries to save his girlfriend Vera but due to her broken heel they miss the train.

They land at a wedding party with Vasya's former band mates. The bride detects a metallic taste in the kiss.

There is a lot of running.

It has all been recorded with a handheld camera, often in close-up. Very good, but might the film be even better if it were more tightly edited.

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