Director Boris Khlebnikov on his "Purely Russian" Modern Western
on February 15, 2013
In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Russian director Boris Khlebnikov spoke out about the unusual conditions of filming in his country and the curiously cynical tastes of local audiences. Khlebnikov, the director of festival hits Free Floating and Help Gone Mad, will have his latest film, A Long and Happy Life, screen this week as part of the Berlinale Film Festival. He describes his agricultural drama about a farming community that wages bureaucratic war against the government as being inspired by High Noon, but went on to stress the differences between Western and Russian filmgoers as one of optimism and open-mindedness:
"I thought that if I changed the characters around and changed their positive attributes to negative attributes, I would get a purely Russian story. Things are so mixed up in Russia. There are no well-established positive role models. People do not trust the police or the government. Therefore, there can be no clear-cut protagonist. We do not have a clear moral compass, and that's why we have such a problem with heroes in movies. Because our enemy is hidden and could be anywhere!"
Khlebnikov went on to mention that he had yet to receive the Visa that would allow him to visit the Berlinale festival in person. Read the full interview here.
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