April 7, 2024 / Comedy

In this extremely funny satire on Soviet bureaucracy, the protagonist, a hapless author, attempts again and again to get his editors to accept his manuscript — a novel with the title “Blue Mountains or Tieshan.” The story unfolds with the inevitability of a fairy tale in which a naive hero is painfully being initiated into the ways of the world, and while the would-be author wanders through the hallways of his publishers, we in turn learn a lot about the crumbling Soviet system and the inactivity of its bureaucratic functionaries. By Hollywood standards, the film may be slow and repetitive, but it is precisely the repetition of tragicomic situations that bring the film to the heights of a Beckettian absurdity.

April 5, 2024 / Animation

A soldier in a Soviet nuclear facility finds himself trapped in a bureaucratic nightmare with no exit in sight. The surreal imagery in this cartoon from Armenfilm includes a platoon of miniature shock troopers, mutant generals and dinosaurs singing We Are the World. The sense that communism had failed to advance, and was in fact causing the Soviet Union to turn in on itself, is powerfully felt.

March 3, 2024 / Short

A railway controller and his sweetheart live in peace next to the railway tracks. Out of nowhere, an umbrella flies into their life. They try to catch it, and finally do manage to grasp it for a short moment, but it slips away and then disappears.

February 11, 2024 / Animation
December 24, 2023 / Animation

Two cosmonauts arrive on a barren world and begin a clean-up operation. In the course of their duties, they revive the planet’s civilisation and discover the real reason for its devastation- thermonuclear war. Produced after the peak of tensions in the late Cold War, this animated short from Armenfilm reflects a muted optimism that humanity might- just- avoid total destruction. It also demonstrates the strength of animation under the Soviet system, where even the smaller state studios were capable of inventive but technically polished work.

November 20, 2023 / Documentary

A requiem for a Russian peasant woman, Maria Semionovna Voinova. The film is in two chapters. The first chapter consists of an impression of Maria Semionovna, scenes of the colours of summer time: hay–making, bathing in a river, work in the flax fields and a holiday in the Crimea. The second chapter, set nine years later, is in black and white and deals with how Maria Semionovna’s life ended. The mood is one of a sad and elegiac narration.

November 19, 2023 / Animation
June 19, 2023 / Experimental

An old man meditates by the sea. A little girl is building a sandcastle. A young couple is frolicking on the beach. The day fades into the evening, as do the memories of youth. Pika päeva ehavalgus (The Light of a Long Day) is a poetic short film about the course of life, shot on 16mm. It won medals at amateur film festivals in Yugoslavia, Austria, Finland, Lithuania and the Baltic Union Republics for the humanistic treatment of the subject and the best directorial and acting work.