“The boycott of Russian culture is unbearable to me”

Kirill Serébrennikov was finally able to attend the Cannes Film Festival. The Russian filmmaker, director and dissident brought the film Leto in competition in 2018, but he was unable to attend because he was under house arrest accused of embezzlement of public funds at the head of the theater company Gogol Center .

Last year, he connected via video conference to talk about Petrov fluwith whom he competed for the Palme d’Or. And in this 75th edition, after having managed to leave his country on March 28, he is embarking on the competition Tchaikovsky’s wifecentered on the tragic story of Antonina Miliukova, an educated young woman obsessed with the famous composer of El lago de los cines who was constantly repudiated by him in an unconsummated marriage to which Tchaikovsky agreed to quell rumors about her homosexuality.

movie frame

With a screenplay written by Serebrennikov himself, the film is beautifully shot with classic, visually stunning direction, revealing the exquisite care with which every shot of a story doomed for absolute disaster is shot. The photography, the costumes, the music, the relationships between the characters… everything turns upside down in the narration of the disturbing process of a divorce to which Antonina does not agree, stubborn to be the wife of a man irritable who despises her.

Supported by the extraordinary performance of Alyona Mikhailova, who goes from the happiness of falling in love to the most relentless fanaticism and self-destruction, the character functions as a metaphor for other forms of resistance to authority. In turn, the film is also a portrait of the misery that reigned in the streets of the country at the end of the 19th century, it erects an oppressive system towards women, without voice or vote at that time, and shows the damage of a repressed homosexuality.

The director surrounded by the protagonists

The director surrounded by the protagonists


Serebrennikov issued a resounding “no to war” during his speech at the press conference. “Without this war we would all feel better, I cannot be happy knowing that they are dropping bombs on the cities. I want to express my compassion, I have Ukrainian friends and the situation is tragic.” He called the boycott of Russian culture something “which is unbearable to me because Russian culture has always promoted human values. The word war and the word culture are antagonistic and the culture will continue to fight to defend the values” .

The director’s appearance in front of journalists was marked by the war and one of the most tense moments was when he was questioned about the financing of his films. And it’s so Tchaikovsky’s wife Like their previous film, they have funds from Kinoprime, the foundation set up by tycoon Roman Abramovich, sanctioned for his ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

“Abramovich has long been a patron of the arts. Thanks to him and his foundation, the best Russian auteur cinema in recent years has taken a lead,” he defended himself. And he also recalled that the President of Ukraine, Volodímir Zelenski, had asked the President of the United States, Joe Biden, not to sanction him because he could be a key figure in the peace process.

Abramovich is a longtime patron of the arts. Thanks to him and his foundation, the best Russian auteur cinema was able to advance

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