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Bear's Kiss (Kuss des Baeren, Der)

Bear's Kiss
Rebecka Liljeberg (photo © Pandora Films/Fortissimo Film Sales)

She was fourteen. She flew on a trapeze and danced with a bear. He was the bear ... a shape-shifter who could transform himself into a young man, moving between two worlds.

One day he asked her: "Do you want me, or do you want your bear?"

"I want both of you," she replied, kissing him.

For a while they were happy together. Until he killed a man to protect her...

Sergei Bodrov was born in 1948 in Russia. He studied at the Russian film school VGIK, and began his directing career at the Kazakhfilm Studio in Almaty, where he helped to nurture the 'new wave' in Kazakh cinema. From 1991-1992, he taught at the Moscow State Film Institute; he has since been a guest professor at UCLA, the University of New Orleans, East Hampton College and the University of Hamburg. The first international retrospective of his work was held at the Toronto Film Festival in 1993; this was followed by tributes at the festivals in Thessaloniki (1996) and La Rochelle (1997) and at the Los Angeles County Museum (1997). Aside from writing the scripts for his own films, he has written or collaborated on more than twenty films for other directors in Russia, France, Germany and the USA - including most recently Regis Wargnier's East-West (1999), an Academy Award-nominee for Best Foreign Language Film. He was named European Screenwriter of the Year in 1996. He now divides his time between Russia and the USA. A selection of his award-winning films includes: Sweet Juice of the Grass (1984), Non-Professionals (1985), I Hate You (TV, 1986), Freedom is Paradise (1989), Gambler (1990), White King, Red Queen (1992), I Wanted to See Angels (1992), Prisoner of the Mountains (1996), Running Free (2000), The Quickie (2001), and Bear’s Kiss (Der Kuss des Baeren, 2002).
Genre Drama
Category Feature
Year of Production 2002
Director Sergei Bodrov
Screenplay Sergei Bodrov, Carolyn Cavallero
Cinematography Xavier Perez Grobet
Mette Zeruneith
Giya Kancheli, SIG
Bernd Lepel
Cast Rebecka Liljeberg, Joachim Król, Sergei Bodrov, Jr., Maurizio Donadoni, Ariadna Gil, Silvio Orlando, Keith Allen, Anne-Marie Pisani, Marcella Musso
Producers Karl Baumgartner, Sergei Bodrov, Christoph Friedel
Production Company Pandora Film Produktion, in co-production with Alia Film/Rome, Orsans-Pyramide/Paris, CTB Film Company/St. Petersburg, Film I Vaest/Trollhaettan, Memfis Film, Stockholm, Tornasol Films, Madrid, in association with ARTE/Paris, Tele+/Rome, VCC Perfect Pictures/Hamburg, ARTE, ZDF, Boje Buck Produktion/Berlin
Length 92 min
Format 35 mm, color
Original Version
Subtitled Version Italian
Sound Technology Dolby Digital
Festivals Venice 2002 (in competition), Toronto 2002, Pusan 2002, Havana 2002
With backing from German Federal Film Board, Filmförderung Hamburg Schleswig-Holstein, Film- und Medienstiftung NRW, Via Digital, MEDIA II, Eurimages, CNC

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