The focus of his movie
is on a retired major, a hero of the Soviet Union and an ethnic Yakut. He
has to take work in a stokehold, and he spends his free time working on
a story on his typewriter. Outside, it is the feverish 1990s, the era of tempestuous
changes in Russian society. The ubiquitous presence of organized
crime even extends to his workplace, which gangsters use to incinerate
corpses. “This was a very important time for Russia, an eventful one
during which a new systemwas emerging,” says Sergey Selyanov, the producer.
“For a long time our society was frightened to discuss this period,
but we are now able to think about it and perceive it without personal prejudices.
Fromthe moviemaker’s perspective, it was like theWildWest, a
source of moviemaking energy.”