My Joy (image 1)

Arresting and powerful... A chance encounter leads to a nightmare journey into a Russian heart of darkness.

Peter Hames, London Film Festival

Screened as part of NZIFF 2011

My Joy 2010

Schastye moye

Directed by Sergei Loznitsa

Documentarian Sergei Loznitsa makes an audacious and impressive feature debut with this labyrinthine journey deep into the literal and metaphorical back roads of Russia. “Arresting and powerful.” — London Film Festival

Germany / The Netherlands / Ukraine In Russian with English subtitles
127 minutes CinemaScope

Director

Producers

Heino Deckert
,
Oleg Kokhan

Photography

Oleg Mutu

Editor

Danielius Kokanauskis

Production designer

Kirill Shuvalov

With

Viktor Nemets (Georgy)
,
Vlad Ivanov (major from Moscow)
,
Vladimir Golovin (old man)
,
Maria Varsami (gypsy woman)
,
Olga Shuvalova (girl prostitute)
,
Alexey Vertkov (young lieutenant)
,
Yuriy Sviridenko (one-armed man)

Festivals

Cannes (In Competition), Karlovy Vary, Melbourne, Toronto, New York, Vancouver, London 2010; Rotterdam, San Francisco 2011

Elsewhere

This audacious and impressive feature debut from documentarian Sergei Loznitsa (Blockade, Revue NZIFF08) takes us on a Kafkaesque journey deep into the literal and metaphorical back roads of darkest Russia, complete with several somewhat Buñuelian diversions. Connoisseurs of Russian cinema may well intuit that the title is deeply ironic, and it is. — MM

My Joy is filmed with a documentary-maker’s eye – it’s based on true stories – but it’s also a horror story of living ghosts, a portrait of the old weird Russia in which bad luck rules and is passed on by stories, for instance, told to truck driver Georgy by a mysterious old man about his return to Russia after World War II and the chance encounter that destroyed his life. The film’s constantly surprising labyrinthine structure, modelled, according to the director, on the bizarre tree-like structure of the Russian road system… [makes] this a powerfully antirealist film.” — Jonathan Romney, Sight & Sound