"Grozny Blues" - Documentary, Switzerland 2015, 104 min., Russian-Chechen

"Grozny Blues" - Documentary, Switzerland 2015, 104 min., Russian-Chechen
details and press reviews: http://antipode-sales.biz/movies/grozny-blues 
"The images of war seem forgotten – Chechnya has vanished long ago from the headlines of the Western press.
The traces of the years of military conflict with Russia have all but disappeared in the capital of Grozny,
which boasts new promenades, modern high-rises and blinding street lights.
The surface is shiny, but pain is still rooted deep in the people’s souls.
A country that’s about to forget its past and that’s full of monuments to its President Kadyrov and, next to him, Vladimir Putin.
Four women who have fought for human rights for years are trying to preserve the collective memories.
They have been collecting stories on video ever since the war began in the 1990s,
documenting the horrors of war and its consequences which nobody in official Chechnya wants to see.
The film ingeniously juxtaposes images from their archive and images of Grozny today.
The history of the war of independence and a forgotten genocide lies between them"
                                                                      Zaza Rusadze


Grozny Blues

ORIGINAL TITLE: GROZNY BLUES

2015, 104 min., DCP, Russian-Chechen

CATEGORY: Documentary 
COUNTRY: Switzerland 
PRODUCTION : SOAP FACTORY GMBH
BUDGET : 420 000 euro

CREW

Director :
Screenplay : Nicola Bellucci, Lucia Sgueglia
Cinematographer : Simon Guy Fässler
Producers : Frank Matter

COMMENTS

Festival del film Locarno (Panorama Suisse) 2015, Festival Visions du Réel, Nyon (International Competition) 2015, GOLDEN APRICOT, Yerevan International Film Festival (Competition) 2015, CinéDOC-Tbilisi 2015, DOK Leipzig 2015, The Riga International Film Festival 2015, Artdocfest 2015 (Competition), IDFA 2015
Zaza Rusadze The images of war seem forgotten – Chechnya has vanished long ago from the headlines of the Western press. The traces of the years of military conflict with Russia have all but disappeared in the capital of Grozny, which boasts new promenades, modern high-rises and blinding street lights. The surface is shiny, but pain is still rooted deep in the people’s souls. A country that’s about to forget its past and that’s full of monuments to its President Kadyrov and, next to him, Vladimir Putin. Four women who have fought for human rights for years are trying to preserve the collective memories. They have been collecting stories on video ever since the war began in the 1990s, documenting the horrors of war and its consequences which nobody in official Chechnya wants to see. The film ingeniously juxtaposes images from their archive and images of Grozny today. The history of the war of independence and a forgotten genocide lies between them.
Poster

SYNOPSIS

«Grozny Blues» follows a few people around Grozny, the capital of war-torn Chechnya where daily life is defined by political repression, constricting customs, forced Islamification and the failure to come to terms with recent history. The film revolves around four women who have been fighting for human rights under worsening conditions for many years but getmore and more disillusioned with the situation in Putin’s Russia. The building where they work is also home to a Blues Club that is frequented by a group of young people. Having only vague memories of the Chechen wars in the 90s, they try to make sense of the strange things that are happening in their country. In linking the personal and intimate to the political, Nicola Bellucci shows in a dramatic and yet very poetic way what it means to live in a divided society that navigates a no-man’s land between war and peace, repression and freedom, archaic traditions and modern life.

PRESS

Grozny Blues is a haunting, often dreamlike documentary about Chechen people caught between the contradictory pressures of manufactured realities and coerced silences. Right from the beginning, as the film opens with aQUOTATION from Bertolt Brecht, ‘It said in the papers this morning that a new era has begun’ it is clear that director Nicola Bellucci’s documentary Grozny Blues, a masterful work about contemporary Chechnya, is fixated with contrasting today’s Chechnya – the Chechnya of Ramzan Kadyrov – with Chechnya’s past.
Instead of a formal indictment, Grozny Blues is like a mastercut of small, telling moments all spliced together. By going micro, we see just how systemically dysfunctional the Chechen Republic has become. As its subjects become more widely known internationally, they will probably be less likely disappear in the dark of night. Therefore, the mesmerizing and alarming Grozny Blues is recommended with considerable urgency…
««Grozny Blues» is a web of associations, suggestive and full of contrasts, a film without commentary or text inserts. A cinematic journey of multiple narratives that form together into a unified image, which has little to do with the clichés of the Kalashnikov–‐toting terrorists from the Caucasus. Instead we are presented with the simultaneity of destruction and 



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