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The latest work by Russian filmmaker Aleksei Fedorchenko (Silent Souls) is a psychoanalytical whodunit that revolves around the roles that apple seeds, melancholy, and cinema play in people’s lives.
Director: Aleksey Fedorchenko
In 1942 a young fruit grower named Leonid arrives in Almaty and dedicates himself to this apple variety bred by his father. During the war years, intelligent visitor-refugees from the big cities of the Soviet republics settle in the phantasmagorical emergency resort town of Almaty, which subsequently becomes an epicentre of film-making. On the other side of the orchard, Eisenstein’s Ivan the Terrible is being made while the local police search for a missing writer.
The film, which won the Best Director prize at the Moscow Film Festival, is inspired by the autobiographical novella Before Sunrise by Mikhail Zoshchenko (who was deemed “an alien and hostile element” by the Soviets). Fedorchenko erotically and ironically weaves fruit growers, non-flammable manuscripts, kabuki, cineastes, other intellectuals and casual passers-by into a visually fascinating web of references.