ST14 Berlin FNE 460x100 FNE Animated Open2020


Festivals 2011-06-28

Dir. Gaziz Nasyrov

Certain year of the 2000s. A journalist of some big paper, Tamerlan finds himself tied to a battery in some basement premise, after he was taken and kept hostage by mysterious group of men in black masks with eye holes. Tamerlan is instinctively preparing himself to lie about anything that he can be asked about. He tries to recall of the biased articles he has written recently, but can’t remember anything that could possible lead to this situation. Meanwhile, his capturers come to him and, using knocks and pastes, motivate him to make a virtual trip in time, going back to the eve of 2000 – the days, when Tamerlan and four other students of the philosophy department have just graduated and have been thinking what to next with their lives.

Two of these characters decide to move forward (one, focusing on his career, and the other – on his family), the only girl in the company also makes an ultimate decision – but in another direction – and commits suicide. And there are only Tamerlan and Kostya Paniotis who literally get stuck at some point of time and space. Having stayed in students’ dormitory, empty at summer days, they decide to rent a free room by the hour. Their clients, who altogether symbolize the sum of all human misfortunes and loneliness, are often paying with valuable effects, which young philosophers call “adequations of time”. Time here is really the protagonist of the film, that submits the whole aesthetics of it – starting from specific, slate-grey colors of the film and ending with the voice-over, which – in a style of Julio Cortázar – is read from the second person and in future tense. Time is also the general theme of young philosophers’ conversations (in one episode Kostya manages to explain the theory of the forth dimension while getting drunk with his friend). And they are philosophers for a reason, which is to show their double revery: not only they represent the generation lost between two epochs, between the past and the present of the country, but they are also graduated in such rare and unfortunate specialty, which never occurs to be profession – only the state of mind. And non-linear structure of the film finally builds up to be universal model of human memory that always functions like that – with random pieces of memories suddenly coming up in mind. And all of the film’s “magical realism”, that subtly suggests that student dormitory can symbolize a kind of a limbo, turns out be quite natural in the system given. All of the important events have already taken place in the past. Time is ruthlessly sweeping away everything that stands in its way, and a person can sometimes find himself at the point of crossing of two time lines. In Stephen King’s novel creates called Langoliers came in such cases, literally swallowing yesterday away; it is not a hard job to believe that sometimes this function can be easily performed by a few man in black masks.

Olga Artemieva