The Berlin film festival has announced a string of Russian films as part of its final line-up for the main competition, putting paid to doubts that none would feature this year. Director Boris Khlebnikov’s much-awaited A Long and Happy LIfe will premiere in the main competition, the third in a trilogy of films that examines pastoral life and the people living on the periphery of Russian society. The first two films, Free Floating and Help Gone Mad, both received widespread acclaim, establishing Khlebnikov as one of Russia’s new wave of young directors to watch.
A second film, For Marx, by Moscow-based Svetlana Baskova, will screen as part of the Forum programme, a showcase for the festival’s most experimental entries. The film follows a group of factory workers and their struggle to create a union, and represents a departure from the director’s “extreme underground” cinema, which has in the past sparked controversy, Others include two animations, Vassily Shlychkov’s Winter Has Come and Anna Kadykova’s The Mole at the Sea as well as a French-Russian co-production, MARUSSIA, by Romanian filmmaker Eva Pervolovici. All three will feature in the festival’s Generation programme, dedicated to children and young people.