Russian actor Artyom Bystrov has won an award at the Locarno Film Festival in Switzerland for his performance as a plumber who stands up to a corrupt system in The Fool. When Bystrov’s character Dima Nikitin is called to fix a burst bathroom pipe in a communal building, he discovers much larger structural problems running from the foundation to the roof, which point to wider issues of corruption and greed.
The film, the third feature from director Yuri Bykov, has been described by The Hollywood Reporter as “extremely bleak and depressing even by Russian standards”. As in his 2013 Cannes Critics’ Week hit The Major, Bykov not only wrote, directed and edited The Fool but also composed the film’s soundtrack.
The prestigious Golden Leopard for for best film went to Lav Diaz’s From What Is Before (2014), a five-hour, black-and-white feature about life in the Philipppines under the dictatorship of Ferdinand Marcos.