Countryside 35x45 (image 1)

A cinematographically and dramaturgically wonderful, touching and humorous film about people living between two eras.

Elizabeth Marschan, Helsinki Film Festival

Screened as part of NZIFF 2010

Countryside 35x45 2009

Glubinka 35x45

Directed by Evgeny Solomin

Life in the Siberian countryside is celebrated in this delightful film that follows an itinerant photographer on a mission to provide country folk with the photos necessary for new Russian identity papers.

Russia In Russian with English subtitles
43 minutes B&W

Director, Editor

Producers

Elizaveta Solomina
,
Konstantin Pavlov

Photography

Vladimir Ponomaryov

Sound

Andrey Popov

Festivals

Amsterdam Documentary 2009

Elsewhere

In the remote Siberian countryside, as in the rest of the Russian Federation, Soviet-era internal passports are being phased out and Russian identity papers will become the norm. It’s a heaven-sent opportunity for an itinerant photographer. He wends his way from village to farm, setting up an impromptu studio wherever he stops. Mindful that folk must look decent for their portraits, he lends his own jacket if need be, or suggests a flattering pose. Each face, framed 35×45, passport size, tells a story; a few are recounted silently in a succession of still shots; others out loud by the subjects as the shot is set up. The Soviet era may officially be extinct, but so far change has provided little – except unpaid wages – and new identity papers don’t necessarily mean progress, or take people any further afield. Nor will they hinder life’s ebb and flow, or keep country weddings from culminating in dancing merriment. This delightful film invites us into a world that it celebrates in a style as unadorned and simple as the lives it depicts. — SR