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The name of Ukrainian filmmaker Sergei Loznitsa is by now well known in the festival circuit, especially after his recent trio of masterful documentaries dealing with the effects of authoritarianism on individuals and societies, Maidan (2014), The Event (2015), and Austerlitz (2016), and his award-winning incursions in fiction territory My Joy (2010) and In the Fog (2012). With this special program we are proud to unearth his little seen early documentaries, a collection of films spanning all lengths and compounding Loznitsa’s powerful and enthralling vision of the post-Soviet era. These films explore the poetics of fundamental political notions such as time, space, work, and nationhood, and are testament to the filmmaker’s meticulously analytical relationship with History. But before becoming a key figure in the landscape of contemporary cinema, Loznitsa graduated as a mathematician and worked as an artificial intelligence scientist at the Kiev Institute of Cybernetics. Avid observer of reality and deeply committed to the power of the cinematic image in his quest for understanding humanity, Loznitsa believes in the possibility of new ways of expression to achieve new levels of meaning. In his own words: Film is a theorem that has to arrive at a final point.

Revue

Sergei Loznitsa Russia, 2008

Filmmaker Sergei Loznitsa has once again scoured the Russian film archives for “Revue,” selecting excerpts from newsreels, propaganda films, TV shows and feature films that present an evocative portrait of Soviet life during the 1950s and 1960s.

Factory

Sergei Loznitsa Russia, 2004

This film depicts one day of an operating factory. It consists of two parts: the first one is called Steel, the second, Plaster. Metal produced by people enslaves them and reduces their lives to pure reflexes. Masculine and feminine, hard and soft, whole and fragmented.

Landscape

Sergei Loznitsa Germany, 2003

Winter. Bus stop in a small village. People are waiting for a bus. They talk. Listening to their conversations the viewer can imagine the world they live in. United by the movement of the camera, the whole place and the people blend together.

The Settlement

Sergei Loznitsa Russia, 2002

Perception is the key to Sergei Loznitsa’s wordless black and white film-essay The Settlement, which gradually envelops the viewer in the day-to-day activities of a rural mental institution in Russia.

Portrait

Sergei Loznitsa Russia, 2002

A collection of still pictures of residents of Russian countryside. Not a single word. Only long look into the camera. Landscape. Flow of time.

The Train Stop

Sergei Loznitsa Russia, 2000

Speeding trains slice through the silence of the small train stop. The whistle on the locomotive and the thunder of the wheels disappear into the night, but fail to wake up people at the station. People just continue to sleep. What do they wait for? What will wake them up?

Life is too short for bad films

Every day we hand-pick a beautiful new film and you have a whole month to watch it, so there’s always 30 perfectly curated films to discover.