Director Masha Novikova has completed filming her documentary triptych under the working title Sweet Smoke (OF FATHERLAND/ OF HOMELAND) in Lithuania. The release of the film is planned for 2011.
The film which is based on her script links three stories, involving three characters. They live in different parts of Europe: Western Europe - Catalonia (Spain); Eastern Europe - Lithuania; and in the new Europe - Abkhazia (Georgia/ Russia). They've experienced, in different eras of the 20th century, civil wars and dictatorships. They share the same fate: they stayed where they were born.
"This film is about people who decide to do nothing in times of war, oppression and occupation. They choose a life amidst the ruins of their past. Even when this choice leads to loneliness: living a dream, not a reality. It is a life in memories, counterbalancing the banal," Novikova said.
Sweet Smoke blends rare archive footage with interviews with those who have "frozen" their lives by protecting themselves from the outside world. The film was produced by the film production company Zeppers (www.zeppers.nl) in co-production with Dutch TV IKON (www.ikonrtv.nl). The commissioning editor is the head of TV IKON Margje de Koning, the editor is Patrick Minks, sound is by Rik Meier, and the cinematographer is Vladas Naudžius.
In April 2000, just after Grozny's destruction, Novikova worked on a documentary in Chechnya by Leo de Boer entitled Train to Grozny. In 2002 she filmed in Grozny for Jos de Putter's film Dance Grozny.
In 2000 she also started doing her own filming, working with mini-dv as the second film photographer for several documentaries. In 2005 she directed her first film Fallen Engel, a documentary about traffic in East -European women who were brought to the Netherlands to work as prostitues
Novikova directed Three Comrades (2006) about three lifelong friends whose worlds are torn apart by war in Chechnya's bloody struggle for independence, In memoriam: Aleksandr Litvinenko (2007, direction together with J. de Putter) (VPRO), Anna, Seven Years on the Frontline (NOVDOC/ Amnesty int., 2008) andIn the Holy Fire of Revolution (NOVDOC/ VPRO).
NOVDOC (Novikova and Dochters)
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