Repentance – Покаяние

”Repentance,” a complex, coherent metaphor of the evil of tyranny, is the creation of Tengiz Abuladze, a Soviet Georgian film maker. His attack on Stalinism and the heirs of Stalin has been seen by millions of people in the Soviet Union, and ”Repentance” was the country’s nominee for an Academy Award for best foreign film.

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We are happy to announce

that the performance of this heartily acclaimed piece is coming back on stage soon. With our original cast working on the material since our first run, new faces, a musical score to complement it.

The book – discussed on Goodreads

If you were there, you’ll want to see it again. And if not, this is the version that we have all been waiting for. This time around, the stage is set in the red velvet twilight of our Sands Films cinema. Continue reading “MARINA TSVETAEVA’S КРЫСОЛОВ – THE RATCATCHER”

Hamlet with Russian Eyes


.. have another ‘double-feature’ for you, this time with Shakespeare
With the Kozintsev rendition of King Lear to be announced later
in April, for our next screening we give you Kozintsevs


(Soviet Union, 1964)

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A ‘double take’ – Twelve chairs

with the day before – TWELVE CHAIRS by Leonid Gaidar

Soviet Union in the 1920s. Ippolit (Ron Moody), an impoverished aristocrat, now village bureaucrat, is summoned to the deathbed of his mother-in-law. She reveals that a fortune in jewels had been hidden from the Bolsheviks in the cushion of one of the twelve chairs from the family’s dining room set.

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A ‘double take’ – Двенадцать стульев

with the following day – TWELVE CHAIRS by Mel Brooks

a classic satirical novel (read it here) that sees its anti-heroes in

“a series of comic adventures, including living in a students dormitory with plywood walls, posing as bill painters on a riverboat to earn passage, bamboozling a village chess club with promises of an international tournament, and traveling on foot through the mountains of Georgia.”

– from Wikipedia

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О смене эпох, удивительной касте советских чиновников, предательстве, стяжательстве, слабохарактерности, верности, любви и смерти. Continue reading “FORGOTTEN TUNE FOR FLUTE – Eldar Ryazanov”

Soviet animation at Sands Films

When Nikita Khrushchev in 1956 proclaimed the end of the personality cult of Joseph Stalin, he started a process of political and cultural renewal in the country. Even though animators still needed a while to free themselves from the long tradition of “Éclair”, from the 1960s onwards, animation films gain completely new qualities..

Young animation directors developed their own distinctive styles and approaches in the following years. One of the most political was Andrei Khrzhanovsky, whose surrealist film The Glass Harmonica (1968) was severely cut by censors, but shelved nevertheless. Anatoly Petrov is known as the founder of the cinema journal Vesyolaya Karusel (click for Youtube search) that gave an opportunity to many young directors to make their first own films

(an excerpt from

We recommend the article at
Russia beyond the headlines,
with some of our favourites.

Together with Alex Desyatnik, we have chosen a surprise selection for you. Ranging from artful folly to profound, and sometimes propaganda. Not as crude as Disney, mind. The screening includes about half a dozen short movies, with an introduction and the opportunity for debate between them. Where necessary, the cartoons are subtitled. If you have your own fond memories to contribute, share them with us. We may include them for the next episode.

Whistle Stop – Boris Barnet

“If the silent period showed the flashes of brilliance as well as the unevenness of Barnet’s talent, the next few years would see him produce two worldwide masterpieces that place him as a precursor of French Poetic Realism and the work of Jean Renoir, as well as an influence on the French New Wave through the works of Truffaut, Godard, and Rivette.”

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July Rain – Marlen Khutsiev

July Rain marked the beginning of a different cinema, far less joyful and optimistic, which lost (or was loosing throughout the decade) illusions and light ideas about reality, cinema ruthless to any illusions and ideas of yesteryear. This cinema was hiding the pungency of its social diagnosis under situations that, on the surface, seemed trivial, everyday, and neutral. Continue reading “July Rain – Marlen Khutsiev”