House with a turret/Дом с башенкой, Renoir 17 October

***

A woman with a microphone appeared to say on behalf of the director (who she just referred to as The Director) that she was glad to see us all there for something completely unlike the other 250 WWII films we had all seen.  This one was about life and relationships and what it was to be human.  The director had been obsessed by Fridrikh Gorenshtein for a long time; first of all he had allowed her to make a short film based on his work, and only then to move on to something more large-scale.  The director had found a producer who owned the largest TV channel in Ukraine and he had made this feature film for 2 million Euro.

Director Eva Neyman

The film dealt with a boy and his mother returning from evacuation by train during WWII.  The mother is sick with typhus, they leave the train and she is taken to hospital.  He battles to find the hospital and send a telegram, surrounded by unheeding adults.  She dies.  Maybe he is going to make friends with the little girl from the housed with the turret by the station.  He rejoins the train with an inadequate substitute family; a couple of rough types are determined he is going to reach his destination.

So the characteristic (and unfortunately autobiographical) Fridrikh Gorenshtein themes, and whether you like the film depends on whether you buy into them.  I do, of course…

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