Traumatic memory is central to the latest film by Ukrainian director Sergei Loznitsa, My Joy (Schast'e moe). The film tells the darkly picaresque story of a flour deliveryman who, on a journey through rural Russia, encounters petty corruption, theft and violence. While clues such as the uniforms of the militia indicate that the film is set in Russia, it could take place almost anywhere in the rural, post-Soviet sphere. On his own website Loznitsa suggests that this is important to the film, saying ‘it is connected with the degradation and dying out of the space that speaks in the language of Platonov’s The Foundation Pit’. The local, rural dialects that form one aspect of Platonov’s language, and the culture they represent, are certainly strongly present in the film, although deeper affinities can also be found in its narrative ambiguity, journey structure and Dostoevsky-like examination of human baseness, cruelty and morality. What is most striking about the film, however, is its attitude to the past, or more specifically, how past traumas persist in the present.
27 October 2010
15 October 2010
11 October 2010
The conflict over the removal of the Katyń cross from outside the Presidential Palace in Warsaw has found a new manifestation in the shape of a recently constructed monument to Red Army soldiers in Ossów near Warsaw. The monument has been vandalised twice since it was built earlier this year.