Preview Screening: Russian Lessons

Screening Tuesday 22nd September, 2009

The film covers the Russia-Georgia war of August 2008 and investigates Russia’s foreign policy stance under Prime Minister Putin.

It starts as a journey by the two director/protagonists, Olga and Andrei, on two sides of the frontline during the last year’s Russian-Georgian war. A non-conventional deeply personal feature documentary that firmly establishes emotional contact with the audiences by depicting human drama, before coming up with political conclusions.

These emerge naturally and forcefully. Evidence of Russian imperialist plotting shows through the superficial politicking, tactical mistakes and naivety of the Georgians. Importantly the film puts the recent war in the context of post-Soviet history, which has managed to keep its darkest secrets away from international public’s attention despite dozens of relevant UN resolutions.

At the same time as Milosevic was earning the reputation as the biggest evil in the post-communist world, Russia was sponsoring and conducting its own campaign of ethnic cleansing against the Georgian population in parts of Georgia.  The cruelty and statistics of this war exceeded those in the former Yugoslavia.


Director Biography:

Andrei Nekrasov has made several internationally co-produced documentaries and TV arts programs (notably A Russia of One’s Own, Pasternak, The Prodigal Son, and Children’s Stories: Chechnya).

 His first drama short, Spring Lenin (1993) won the UNESCO prize at the Cannes Film Festival that year, and in 1997 his first feature, Love is As Strong as Death won the FIPRESCI prize at Mannheim-Heidelberg film festival. The director’s second feature, Lubov and Other Nightmares (2001), won recognition at the Sundance and Berlin festivals.

 He is well known for his politically-oriented films. His last film, Rebellion: The Litvinenko Case, presents interviews with assassinated former-FSB officer Alexander Litvinenko and murdered journalist Anna Politkovskaya.