Film by Most Sought-After Talent Arrives

Among the highlights of the feature-film competition program of the 17th ZFF is Beanpole, a film by the young Russion author Kantemir Balagov, currently the most sought-after talent of the world festival scene. The film is based on the literary account, The Unwomanly Face of War, by Belarus Nobel laureate, journalist and writer Svetlana Alexievich, the film chronicles the effects of war — madness, pain, and paralysis from the point of view of two women who, upon returning to Leningrad from the frontline in 1945, try to rebuild their lives.

Balagov, a former student of the great Russian director Alexander Sokurov, already boasts a signature style in which he combines documentary-like realism with complex metaphors. His previous film Closeness (2017) won the FIPRESCI Prize in Cannes, while Beanpole received this year’s Un Certain Regard Directing Prize. The film, praised for its visual procedures that evokes the masters of European painting, was shot by one of the most talented Russian cinematographers, 25-year-old Ksenia Sereda.