The film is a screen version of the mysterious, paradoxical and disturbing story by Chekhov, which, in all honesty, can be called the most pessimistic and also the most life-asserting work of the author. The story is based on a real-life incident and focuses on the head doctor of an asylum who winds up a patient in it. Lonely, estranged, reflecting, Doctor Andrey Ragin is one of the prominent characters in the works of Chekhov – and the entire world literature of the 20th century. Preserving the story-line the authors deliberately move the scene into the present. The film was shot in a real asylum, in a novel semi-documentary manner.
Silver St. George/Best Actor | Moscow IFF, Russia, 2009
Directors' Week Special Jury Award | Fantasporto IFF, Portugal, 2010
CAST & CREW
Alexander Borodyansky, Karen Shakhnazarov, story by Anton Chekhov
Director of Photography
Vladimir Ilyin, Alexey Vertkov, Alexander Pankratov-Chyorny, Evgeny Stychkin, Victor Solovyev, Alexey Zharkov, Albina Evtushevskaya
Mosfilm Cinema Concern
Born 1952, Krasnodar, Russia. Film director, scriptwriter, producer, prose writer. In 1975 graduated from All-Russian State Institute of Cinema (VGIK), where he studied Film Directing in Igor Talankin’s studio. Since 1976 he has been directing films at Mosfilm Studio. Since 1987 he has been the Art Director of Artistic Association Start (renamed into Courier Studio in 1990) of Mosfilm. Since 1991 he has been the Art Director and Chairman of the Board of Courier Studio of the Mosfilm Cinema Corporation. Since 1998 he has been the General Director of the Corporation Mosfilm. Under his management the principal film studio of Russia overcame the deep crisis of the nineties and grew into Europe’s largest and unique film production complex. The films directed by Karen Shakhnazarov were presented at many prestigious international film festivals and won over 20 awards.
With a Wide Step, Maestro (1975), On the School Path (1977), The Kind-Hearted Ones (1979), Ladies Ask the Gentlemen (1980), Jazzmen (1983), A Winter Night in Gagra (1985), Courier (1986), The Town of Zero (1988), Assassin (USSR – Great Britain) (1991), The Dreams (1993), American Daughter (1995), The Day of Full Moon (1998), Poisons or The World History of Poisoning (2000), The Star (2002), The Rider Named Death (2004), The Vanished Empire (2008), Ward No. 6 (2009)