Russian independent director Konstantin Fam (often known as Costa Fam) has begun shooting for his latest project Brutus, a film about the Holocaust seen through the eyes of a German Shepherd.

The film is an adaptation of Czech author Ludvík Aškenazy’s story of the same name, which relates the tragedy of the Holocaust and the Second World War through the experiences of Brutus the dog. Having been taken away from his Jewish owners, Brutus becomes a guard dog at a concentration camp.

“Our film will be tough, but entirely pacifist in nature. My task is to make the viewer see things from the dog’s point of view, to show how quickly somebody can be brainwashed and turn into a monster,” says the film’s director.

Fam notes that the “dog’s worldview” can be portrayed using particular camera techniques. Expert help will be on hand, as filming will be carried out by Bruce Alan Greene, an American cameraman who worked on the 1992 family hit Beethoven, which also centres around a dog, and martial arts film Mortal Kombat (1995). The main roles in the film will be played by Oksana Fandera and Filipp Yankovsky.

Brutus will be the second installment in Fam’s Witnesses trilogy, with each story in the series providing an unusual perspective on the Holocaust. The first film of the series, Shoes, was released in 2014 and won six prizes at the Monaco International Film Festival, and the Grand Prix at the Festival Imperia in Italy. 

Fam is a graduate of the New York Film Academy, and previously studied at the Gerasimov Institute of Cinematography in Moscow. 

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