As the filmmaker embarks on a quest to understand the reasons for the 26-yearold hooligan poet's suicide, she reveals the hidden tragedy of the lost perestroika generation, to whom Boris gave a voice. “We were thrown out of communism, but never reached capitalism”, as his young widow puts it. The Yeltsin era, which the West associated with democracy and freedom, felt very different in the lawless streets of Yekaterinburg, where gangsters slaughtered each other on a daily basis. But despite this grim reality, it’s a poetic film with a tragic-comic touch about Boris’s love for life: through his poems, pain is transformed into grace.
This Dutch/Russian director has made five documentaries which have won international awards. She studied Russian literature at Amsterdam University and directing at the Dutch Film Academy. She began her career in 1997 with the much-acclaimed documentary The Lady with the White Hat, and since then has received multiple awards for her films, including the Jan Kassies award for the poetic touch in her films.
The Lady with the White Hat (1997), After the spring of ’68 (2001), The Hermitage Dwellers (2004), Voices of Bam (2006), Boris Ryzhy (2008), Water Children (2011)