Time is a vicious cycle and cruelty repeats itself in history without fail. On a rural highway in Russia, young driver Georgy’s quest to deliver flour on his truck became a journey into the darkness and absurdity. First, he gets stopped by a ridiculous traffic cop, picks up a hitchhiking veteran of the Second World War, and encounters a young sex worker pestering him for business. Then, he stops at a crowded market and enters a barren village. He sees faces ravaged by rough times, wondering if he would end up like them one day. The cruel history of the Second World War creeps in and bridges to the contemporary era perfectly. Two generations of Russian corruption, military atrocity and police brutality have mercilessly devoured the human soul. All that is left is a body with an empty cavity, and nothing left to lose. Sergei Loznita’s first fictional feature was a roaring success at Cannes, where it competed for the prestigious Palme d’Or. The film breaks away from linear storytelling, as it flashes back to historical events that are seemingly unrelated to the protagonist. Such an obscure narrative structure is akin to Alain Resnais’ Last Year at Marienbad (1961). Time—not Georgy—is the real narrator of the story, as history gazes upon our every deed.
Nominated for Palme d’Or and Golden Camera, Cannes Film Festival 2010
Nominated for Best Feature, Chicago International Film Festival 2010
Grand Prix, Molodist Kyiv International Film Festival 2010
Born in Baranovici (USSR) and grew up in Kiev, Ukraine. After graduation from Igor Sikorsky Kyiv Polytechnic Institute with a degree in Applied Mathematics in 1987, he studied feature filmmaking at the Russian State Institute of Cinematography (VGIK) in Moscow and graduated in 1997. He has been making films since 1996, and by now he has directed beyond 20 award-winning documentaries and 4 fiction films. His feature debut My Joy (2010) premiered in the main competition at the Festival de Cannes, and was followed by the feature film In the Fog (2012), which was awarded FIPRESCI prize at the same festival. His documentary Maidan (2014) had its world premiere at a Séance Special of Cannes Film Festival. In 2017, he presented his third feature A Gentle Creature (2017) in the competition of the Cannes Film Festival, and in the next year he was awarded Best Directing of the Un Certain Regard section of Cannes Film Festival for his fourth feature film Donbass (2018). His other feature-length documentaries, The Event (2015), The Trial (2018) and State Funeral (2019) were presented at the Special Screenings of the Venice Film Festival. He founded a film production company ATOMS & VOID in 2013. Sergei Loznitsa continues to work both in documentary and feature genres.