A ‘direct cinema’ documentary explores the art and inner workings of the major art institution in Kyiv, Ukraine. Two special exhibitions – one dedicated to the Ukrainian baroque and another one to a prominent avant-garde artist – are the two defining events in the film’s narrative.
Award-winning transnational filmmaker Andrei Zagdansky received his MFA from Kyiv State Institute of Theatrical Arts in Kyiv, Ukraine.
His first, coming of age, feature-length documentary Interpretation of Dreams (1990), juxtaposed the filmmaker’s dialogue with Sigmund Freud and the history of the Soviet Union. The result was “...an astonishing marriage of Freudian thinking and history” (Boston Globe), “...interesting and provocative” (Vincent Canby, The New York Times).
He then produced/directed independent documentaries Vasya (2002), Konstantin and Mouse (2006), Orange Winer (2007), My Father Evgeni (2010), Vagrich and the Black Square (2015), Michail and Daniel (2018) and National Museum (2020).
All of his films are personal in approach and artistically different. High voltage Vasya intertwines often mutually exclusive documentary testimonies with animated sequences; My Father Evgeni is an intimate and poetic essay about the filmmaker’s father; Vagrich and the Black Square is a film-collage that blends documentary, animation and staged theatrical performance in an uplifting tribute to the free-thinking artist and friend, Vagrich Bakhchanyan.
His latest films – Michail and Daniel and National Museum are exemplars of ‘direct cinema’ documentaries.
Interpretation of Dreams (1990), Vasya (2002), Kostantin and Mouse (2006), Orange Winter (2007), My Father Evgeni (2010), Vagrich and the Black Square (2015), National Museum (2020)