Russia / Georgia / Norway , 2009, 90mn 
Colour, documentary
Uroki Ruskovo
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Уроки Русского


 Russian Lessons

 Leçons russes

Directed by : Olga KONSKAYA (Ольга КОНСКАЯ), Andrey NEKRASOV (Андрей НЕКРАСОВ)
Release Date in Russia : 2010

Plot synopsis
The film starts as a journey by the two directors-protagonists. Olga and Andrei, on the two sides of the frontline during the Russian-Georgian was in August 2008. A film on such a hot political (and geopolitical) subject first of all establishes emotional contact with the audience by depicting human drama, before coming up with political conclusions. They emerge naturally and powerfully as overwhelming evidence of Russian imperialist plot shows through the Russian media smokescreen as well as mistakes and naivety of the Georgians. The filmmakers return to their St. Petersburg studio loaded with unique footage and evidence which they analyze in the process of film-editing. This process is intertwined in the film's narrative and the viewer gets a sense of partaking in it. In this way the filmmakers are able to come to forceful conclusions without slipping into propaganda and prejudice that charachterize too many films about the August war. Importantly the film puts the recent war in context of the post-Soviet history which has managed to keep its darkest secrets away from the international public's attention despite dozens of relevant UN resolutions. At the same time as Milosevic was earning the reputation of the biggest evil of the post-communist world, Russia was sponsoring and conducting the campaign of terror and ethnic cleansing against the Georgian population of integral parts of Georgia, with cruelty exceeding that of the war in former Yugoslavia.

Portrait: Un Russe tique [Portrait de Andreï Nekrassov, 2010], Hélène DESPRIC-POPOVIC, Libération, 2010
Home / Films 2010 / Russian Lessons SP-2010 Personal investigation into the war between Russia and Georgia in 2008 by film makers Andrei Nekrasov and Olga Konskaya. They filmed at the front lines and compare their images with the official version of the Russian government, which was adopted unquestioningly by the Western media. When war breaks out in early August 2008 between Russia and Georgia, the film makers Andrei Nekrasov and Olga Konskaya head for the front from two sides. Nekrasov approaches the front line from the 'European' South and Konskaya from the 'Russian' North. On the way, they send each other their pictures. In this way, Nekrasov is able to show the refugees he meets in the South pictures of their destroyed villages in the North. But this journey is only the start of Russian Lessons. The directors of this personal investigation into the war juxtapose their visual material with the official version of the Russian government, a version that has been unquestioningly adopted by Western media. In addition, they put the war in the context of post-Soviet Russia, with a central role for the forgotten genocide during the battle in 1993 between Georgia and the still controversial region of Abkhazia. The film was the directing debut of Olga Konskaya, the partner and cooperator of Andrei Nekrasov, who also acted in his feaure debut Lubov and Other Nightmares (2001). She passed away shortly after Russian Lessons was finished. (http://www.filmfestivalrotterdam.com/en/films/russian-lessons/)

Selected in the following festivals :
- Tromso International Film Festival : TIFF, Tromso (Norway), 2011
- Transilvania International Film Festival : TIFF, Cluj Napoca (Romania), 2011
- Göteborg International Film Festival, Göteborg (Sweden), 2011
- Hong-Kong International Film Festival, Hong Kong (China), 2010
- "Jeden Svët" International Human Rights Documentary Film Festival One World, Prague (Czech Republic), 2010
- Aye Aye Film Festival Nancy-Lorraine, Nancy (France), 2010
- International Leipzig Festival for documentary and animated film, Leipzig (Germany), 2010
- Munich International Film Festival, Munich (Germany), 2010
- Rotterdam International Film Festival, Rotterdam (Netherlands), 2010
- Leeds International Film Festival, Leeds (United Kingdom), 2010
- San Francisco International Film Festival, San Francisco (USA), 2010
- Sundance Film Festival, Park City (USA), 2010