February 15 offers 68-th Berlin film festival. And already the 18th in his program “Forum” will show a documentary “Son” of Alexander abaturova. He shot in co-production of Russia and France.
Previous film of Alexander abaturova “Sleepy souls” filmed in 2013 about the Siberian town of Achinsk. “Son” tells of the dead in 2013, in Dagestan Dmitri. He was 21 years old. After serving in the army, he became a contractor, was fatally wounded in the head during the RAID of special forces. Parents of Dima, losing his only son, struggle to find the strength to live. Meanwhile, all the new young guys go into the army. We speak with the film’s “Son” Alexander by Abaturova.
– “Sleepy people” you introduced in Moscow in 2013. What were you doing after that?
The new film “Son”. Work on it began after may 2013. Shooting we began a year later, in April 2014.
– How did you know about the death of the guy in Dagestan?
Is my cousin.
– How did you decide to remove that person as parents Dmitry found the strength to participate in your picture?
– When I found out 23 may 2013 about the death of Dima, then called his parents. He was in terrible shock. But they are so strong people that tried to support me and calm me. Apparently, to direct my thoughts in the other direction, aunt Natasha said, “Now you must remove the film”. First reaction – I can’t handle this task, it’s too hard. And then day by day the pain was here and now, you had it to handle. The only thing I can do somehow to make a movie. What else remained in a situation when nothing can be changed. I decided that it was important to make a film.
Actress Ada Rogovtseva told how after the death of his son who published the book, said in her important things, and it became a little easier. As if exhaled.
– When unable to do something, is better than when you can’t. Work on the film lasted four years. The incident played over and over in my head. I was immersed in a serious condition all the time. On the one hand, work helped, and with another — it lasted so long, especially in the installation when it was necessary to view the material over and over again, day after day, living it all over again. It’s very hard.
Four years is a long time.
– It was important for me to spend the maximum amount of time with loved ones . It is clear that his family I knew, met with her I had to. But an important part of the movie after all is the army, and that for me was a world completely alien and unfamiliar. To avoid superficial glance, reportajneri, bold strokes, it was necessary to spend a lot of time with those who are there. Further long was the installation, with interruptions, it took almost a year. In parallel I began to work on another film for the French TV channel. It was necessary to earn money.
– You did it — the script, the editing, was behind the camera.
Maybe that it catches the eye, but not a single line of titles, in addition to directing, I am not alone. A lot of people helped me. Without their help and support nothing would have happened. It concerns the operator Artem Petrov — my close friend, with whom he worked on “Sleeping souls”. He helped me out of friendship to remove “Son”. And with my editor, we started working back in film school in Lusace. She understood my approach to cinema. Producer Rebecca Uzel is French, but lived in Russia and we have a lot of work. We had virtually no funding, and Rebecca took risks in a time when shooting was completed. Thanks to her the film exists.
– Where did you get the army scenes?
– In Novosibirsk in special forces, where he served after the military service, in Moscow the special forces, where he is serving. My task was to tell how was his life in recent years. As Dima was lost and it was not possible to remove it, I found a way out and appealed to his friends, family, traced his life through young guys in the army. In them I saw Dima. And he, in turn, became the symbol for all these guys. Dima killed in Dagestan during special operation.
– Tried to find you through the documentary, but nobody really knew where you were , and how you look. You live in France?
– Yes, now I am in France. Lived here a long time. I — Siberian, and probably will always be a Siberian. The whole world is my big taiga. I — man big-big forest.
– You studied in French at Kinsale?
– Yes, Lusse, school, author of a documentary movie with a very unique, free approach. It was there I had the opportunity to do what I always wanted. French film culture is known worldwide. Perhaps she was the only one that can do anything against Hollywood. The Directors are treated as sacred cows, and freedom of expression here — something sacred. I like to work with the French. No one ever tells you how and what to do and always help us implement the ideas.
– Film school thesis films free of charge and its budget? Not had to look for funds, what happens?
Is money on a film give. But Lucas is a small village in the agricultural ardèche region in the foothills of the Alps, at the junction with the Mediterranean. It is French Altai. The film has a set of cameras, sound and installation equipment. There are fellow students with whom we formed a crew. There is some amount of time on shooting. We have them and the writing of the project was three weeks and three weeks for installation. These are resources that the school provides.
– “Sleepy soul” – your diploma?
– No, it’s graduate work. During the school year are creative writing session, students engaged in writing projects. After training in October, organized a meeting with producers given the opportunity to find those with whom you will work. I met Rebecca in Lysase even before this, the documentary film festival held in Lusace every August. We immediately established a good contact. She speaks Russian, knows how it works. “Sleepy soul” actually became her first production project. Prior to that, she was mainly engaged in directing, and now producing activities.
You were aware the only student from Russia?
– In my group I was the only Russian. But in film school periodically has students from Russia and Ukraine. It is open to a certain number of foreigners.
– You went to study in France at a young age?
– I still like young. I am 33 years old, and was 26. I’m from Novosibirsk, but he studied in Yekaterinburg, then returned home, was a journalist. At the end of the 2000s something to work, but then got tired of it. In Moscow did not want to go, decided to go somewhere far away.
– So you went to journalism?
– I had a major in advertising and public relations. It’s for lazy people, to the army not to go.
– I congratulate you with participation in the Berlinale. Russian films are a rarity there.
– Nothing, everything will change soon, will rattle the entire world. As is always the case. Energy is accumulated for a long time, but then it all begins.
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