Russie, 45 min, 1988
A documentary about about the "Acmeist" poet Nikolaj Gumilijov, husband of the poetess Anna Akhmatova.
The subject of this film is the poet and representative of "The Silver Age" of Russian culture, Nikolai Gumilev. Gumilev's tragic fate and the drama of the lives of those connected with him form the basis for an examination of the Russian intelligentsia. Gumilev's fate can be seen as prefiguring the fate of the Russian intelligentsia as a whole.
The film is woven out of archive materials, early film chronicles of the time, photographs, newspaper clippings, and eye-witness accounts from our contemporaries. In to this are pitched ethnographic and scientific footage, such as a ritual killing of a bear, a lion hunt, a confrontation between a rabbit and a boa constrictor. This material is skilfully combined in to the dramaticism of the film. The metaphoric implications of the film deny any simple conclusions. There is a more complex, associative principle at work here.
"The processes of history are governable, and history is accomplished through ritual sacrifices." The key metaphor of the film becomes the boa constrictor swallowing its prey. Igor Alimpiev attempts to synthesize these metaphors with the traditional documentary approach, highlighting the eternal dichotomy between reality and its representation.
Director: Igor Alimpiev
Author: Andrey Petrov
Production Company: Leningrader Dokumentar-film Studio
Production country: USSR
The film won first prize at the Neune film festival in 1988.