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Western frontiers of the USSR, 1942. The region is under German occupation, and local partisans are fighting a brutal resistance campaign.

A train is derailed not far from the village, where Sushenya, a rail worker, lives with his family. Innocent Sushenya is arrested with a group of saboteurs, but the German officer makes a decision not to hang him with the others and sets him free. Rumors of Sushenya’s treason spread quickly, and partisans Burov and Voitik arrive from the forest to get revenge.

As the partisans lead their victim through the forest, they are ambushed, and Sushenya finds himself one-to-one with his wounded enemy.

Deep in an ancient forest, where there are neither friends nor enemies, and where the line between treason and heroism disappears, Sushenya is forced to make a moral choice under immoral circumstances.

Sergei Loznitsa was born in 1964 in Baranovichi in the former USSR. He grew up in Kiev, and graduated from the Kiev Polytechnic with a degree in Applied Mathematics. From 1987-1991, he was employed at the Kiev Institute of Cybernetics, working on artificial intelligence research. He also worked as a translator for Japanese. In 1997 Sergei Loznitsa graduated from the Russian State Institute of Cinematography (VGIK). He studied Feature Filmmaking in the class of Nana Dzhordzhadze. From 2000-2008 he worked at the St. Petersburg Documentary Film Studio. In 2001, he and his family moved to Germany. A selection of his award-winning films includes: TODAY WE ARE GOING TO BUILD A HOUSE (1996), LIFE, AUTUMN (1998), THE TRAIN STOP (2000), SETTLEMENT (2001), PORTRAIT (2002), LANDSCAPE (2003), FACTORY (2004), BLOCKADE (2005), ARTEL (2006), REVUE (2008), MY JOY (2010), IN THE FOG (2012), AUSTERLITZ (2016), and DONBASS (2018).
Genre Drama, History
Category Feature
Year of Production 2012
Director Sergei Loznitsa
Screenplay Sergei Loznitsa
Cinematography Oleg Mutu
Cast Vladimir Svirski, Vlad Abashin, Sergei Kolesov, Vlad Ivanov, Julia Peresild, Nadezhda Markina
Producer Heino Deckert
Co-Producers Vilnis Kalnaellis, Joost de Vries
Production Company Fiction, in co-production with GP Cinema/Moscow, Rija Films/Riga, Lemming Film/Amsterdam, Belarus Film Studios/Minsk, ZDF, ARTE
Length 130 min
Format 35 mm, color, cs
Original Version
Subtitled Version English
Festivals Cannes 2012 (In Competition), Karlovy Vary 2012, European Film Festival Palic 2012, Melbourne 2012, Toronto 2012, BFI London 2012, Busan 2012, Molodist Kyiv 2012, Sao Paulo 2012, AFI Fest Los Angeles 2012, Listapad Minsk 2012, Brisbane 2012, Thessaloniki 2012, Tallinn Black Nights 2012, Hong Kong 2013, Istanbul 2013, Planete Doc Warsaw 2013, Seattle 2013, Vila do Conde 2013, Crossing Europe Linz 2015, Reykjavik 2018
Awards FIPRESCI Award Cannes 2012
With backing from Mitteldeutsche Medienförderung, Eurimages, German Federal Film Fund, Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg, MEDIA, Cinema Fund Russia, National Film Centre of Latvia, Riga Film Council, Nederlands Filmfonds, i2i Media Support

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