Playing the Victim
Photos and Video
From one of Moscow's top young theater directors, this blackhumored and remarkably inventive comedy plunges into the world of a young Muscovite, Valya, who has dropped out of university to earn money working in the police force. His job: to literally "play the victim" in video reconstructions of murders under investigation. The task is ridiculous since the criminals have already been arrested and there is no doubt that they will be prosecuted, but regulations require the reenactment. Valya finds himself in one absurd situation after another, "killed" again and again while a video camera records everything. Meanwhile, his life at home is equally oppressive-his mother and girlfriend annoy him endlessly, and at night his dead father's ghost comes to visit, full of reproaches. When his father reveals that he was poisoned by Valya's mother and uncle, who are now planning to marry, Valya's already crumbling respect for the world around him collapses and he decides to enact a poetic and brutal vengeance. Serebrennikov creates a frenetic and sharply ironic adaptation of Hamlet. Playing the Victim combines an acerbic depiction of contemporary Moscow and a farcical justice system with a darkly funny story of youthful angst. Winner of the Grand Prize at the first Rome International Film Festival.
Director's Statement Collapse
The film won`t be a play transferred to print- it will be a very independent work. The Presnyakov Brothers adapted their play for the film language.
Why we decided to make a film out of this play? Because it`s one of rare texts of modern dramatic art that investigates the nature and the problem of todays young hero.
As Hamlet he feels that time is not perfect. He feels how the gap, by which the two pieces of the modern world are separated, lies inside his own body. These vibrations go through his soul, through his heart, through his destiny. That`s why he wants to escape from the world, to hide using his own secret techniques. This seems sad, but, though it may seem to be a paradox, our film is a pure comedy. Because life is comedy itself.
Film Information Collapse
[PLAYI] | 2006 | 95 | Narrative Feature
Foreign Title: (Izobrazhaya zhertvu)
Premiere: North American
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About the Director(s)Collapse
KIRILL SEREBRENNIKOV is one of the most acclaimed Russian theatrical and film directors today. Born in Rostov-on-Don in 1969, Serebrennikov graduated with a degree in Physics from Rostov State University. While a student he directed stage plays in a small local theater and soon realized that he could not continue his scientific career. Among the more than 20 plays that he directed in Moscow and St. Petersburg is Jeanne d`Arc with Fanny Ardant. After shooting the TV film Rostov Papa, Serebrennikov moved to Moscow. His first theatrical feature film, Ragin (2004), premiered at the Karlovy Vary Film Festival. His TV project Postelnie szeny (Bed Stories) participated in the Visions program of the 2005 Toronto Film Festival.