Clean Thursday refers to the day before Good Friday when one traditionally cleans one’s house and spirit in preparation for the holy days of Easter. Cleaning is the focus of this film, but it is the cleaning of soldiers and their dirty laundry during Russian occupation and “cleaning” of Chechnya. An old steam train transformed into laundry wagons and bathhouses for the troops is the setting for Rastorguev’s film. Soldiers arrive from the front, sweating, filthy, and exhausted by war. For a day or two of respite, they wash, curse, remember family, brag about sexual conquests, and recount the hell they’ve perpetrated or survived. In the train the conscripted soldiers can relax and clean their bodies and clothes, but only to-once again-killed at the front. (Flaherty Seminar)
Russian documentary filmmaker, b. 1971 in Rostov-on-Don, Russia. Rastorguev studied philology at Rostov State University and graduated from the St. Petersburg State Theater Arts Academy (LGITMiK). He was a director at GTRK “Don-TR” and was the editor of the television station NTV in St. Petersburg. Rastogruev organized the studio Kino in 2001. His films though sometimes controversial have won critical acclaim home and abroad. In 2009 he published “Natural Cinema Manifesto” which laid the base for “I Love You”, a semi-documentary he co-directed with Pavel Kostomarov.